Sunday, April 1, 2012

the old red barn part 2

Mom & Dad moved onto the family farm around 1957. Dad first worked at places like the cement plant in Superior & also worked in Hastings. He decided he wanted to do something that kept him at home, which led him to milking cows. Holstein cows. The barn had eight stalls for milking. The cows got led into a stall where their head was caught between wooden boards so they couldn't back out. They got a scoop of grain to chew on while they were milked. A surcingle was strapped over the cow's back & a six gallon bucket milker was attached. A vacuum pump milked the cow. The milker was then carried over to the three hundred gallon bulk tank & emptied. At his peak, Dad milked forty-four cows. This job meant he was up at 4 o'clock every morning & a second milking took place about twelve hours later. Milking cows paid the bills. I got these detail from him a couple of days ago. And he said he had spent the previous night milking cows again in his dreams. And after all those years of milking he is still awake at an early hour. Now instead of milking, he is praying rosaries for Mom & whomever else needs his prayers. I have six brothers, so I was never much involved with milking. I do remember after it was all done, they'd throw out the milk soaked filter for the cats to eat. I remember hearing James Taylor singing "You've Got a Friend" on the radio they played when milking. I was often riding a bicycle round & round in the driveway while the afternoon milking was going on. We grew up on whole raw milk. Now I'd think it was cream. Lots of hard work in that red barn. I saw a calf born there. The vet had his arm inside that cow all the way up to his shoulder, trying to get that calf turned & delivered. Many good memories that I enjoy revisiting.

No comments:

Post a Comment