By Susan C. Muller
“Want to go with me to see some Jersey cows?” my friend Delma asked.
I had to think about that for a moment. “Don’t we have enough cows in Texas? Why do we have to go all the way to New Jersey?”
Turns out Jersey was the type of cow, and they were in La Grange, Texas, on a dairy farm. Delma was in charge of planning an outing for the Prime Timers group at her church and she needed twenty riders to get the free county bus. She only had nineteen signed up. And I thought it was my charming personality.
“They’ll even let you milk one if you want to,” she assured me.
How could I pass up an offer like that? Milking a cow wasn’t on my bucket list, but I’ll try anything once.
The bus was due to leave at 9:00 o’clock, and I arrived at 8:40. The bus was already full. Prime Timers don’t like to wait ‘till the last minute; anything could happen. Luckily, Delma had saved me a seat. And paid my $5.75 admission fee. Wow, the day was starting out right.
It’s a two hour bus ride from Houston to La Grange and, believe me, Delma and I can talk that long with no problem. I hadn’t seen her in almost two days.
An hour out of Houston, we began to see bluebonnets. At first just a few were sprinkled along the roadside. Soon they carpeted every available space. They were so beautiful that for a few minutes, Delma and I forgot to talk.
When we arrived at the dairy farm, the wind almost knocked some of the Prime Timers over. High wind and big, heavily sprayed Texas hair are not a pretty combination. But there stood Belle, the symbol of Blue Bell Ice Cream.
I don’t know if you have Blue Bell where you live, but if not, you might want to consider moving.
All of Belle’s descendants have bell in their name, and the cow I milked was Belladonna. It wasn’t as difficult as I’d imagined. One squeeze and here came a stream of warm milk. Jerseys have a high butterfat content to their milk and on this farm, all of their product went straight to Blue Bell.
The farm is family owned and operated and one of the daughters asked if we had any questions. I raised my hand. “What happens to the cows when they get too old to produce?” A fair question for a group of older citizens.
I was assured that no cow is ever slaughtered. “They’re put out to pasture to live out their days.”
I didn’t see any fields of elderly cows munching their lives away, but the farm had a lot of acreage, and the old gals might have been behind the tree line. That’s what I choose to believe, anyway.
My novel, The Secrets on Forest Bend, is set in Houston, but my hero is a cop, not a cowboy. Delma asked me if I could use this experience in my next novel. I promised her I would. I don’t know how yet, but if I bothered to do it, you can be sure I’m going to use it.
What about you? Are you always up for a new adventure, or do you prefer the comforts of home?
The Secrets on Forest Bend is available from: www.soulmatepublishing.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.
Follow Susan at www.susancmuller.com
No cows were harmed in the writing of this blog.