Today is the first day I have ever, in six years, thought that maybe I was nuts for dragging us all out here. I'm seeing it through different eyes. This isn't Walden. And for once, I miss a convention of suburbia. I want to call in sick today.
Hello, God? This is Deborah. I can't make it to work today. Sorry I can't milk the goats. You see, I haven't milked more than one goat in about four years, and there are three goats out there that really need to be milked -- and six more that should be milked, although they do have a single kid on them. I did it last night, but it was really, really hard, and the goats were patient with my rusty technique and tired hands. If you had any input into their sweet dispositions, I want to say thanks. So, if you could please just turn off the udders, so they don't produce any milk for a few days until Margaret's arms and hand are healed enough for her to milk them again, I'd appreciate it. Not to be greedy or ask for too much, but Mike worked really hard picking about three quarts of blackberries yesterday, and I don't really feel like making blackberry jam today, so if you could stop that whole decaying process, that would be great.
Life out here stops for no one. I was milking goats last night at midnight, saying aloud, "I can do this. I can do this. We can do this, right, Lizzie? Yeah, you're a good girl." When my hands started to cramp up, I'd stop, and Mike would try. But he has only tried to milk a goat once in his life before this. He made little headway, but I appreciated the effort. He was especially helpful in moving the goats into and out of the milking stall, because all nine wanted to get in there and be milked after 18 hours. I was glad he was sitting out there with me, or I think I would have been certifiably insane by the end. As it was, I did catch myself twice chanting, "I think I can. I think I can...." in rhythm with the milk swooshing into the bucket.
Hey, God? It's me again. I just realized I never officially said thank you for not letting Sovalye crush Margaret's face or her arms or her hand. We all really, really thank you for that. I guess if you could just make my hands a little stronger today, that would be great. Now, I need to get out to the barn and milk the goats. Don't worry about the blackberries. If I don't feel like canning this afternoon, I'll find something to do with them so they don't go to waste.