No Title


The ending of that last post really wasn’t fair. I’m not feeling that life is very fair right now though.

Just a few days, maybe a week, after Tilly arrived Don broke out in a serious rash. It was around his eyes, down the front of his face and on his arms. He went to the doctor and she said, “It’s either shingles or an allergy, we’ll have to wait and see.” Well Don is not allergic to anything that we know of so we worried and watched – mostly we worried. It did not progress like shingles, which was good, but it did not go away either. Don began walking around the house with Calamine lotion smeared all over his face and I began to suspect we knew the culprit.


Here’s Don taking Tilly for her (almost) daily walk. Why you might ask? Because the clover in her pen wasn’t as nice as the clover outside. Or more likely because she’s a lovable animal and he just can’t help but love a lovable animal. After each walk he would scratch her face all around under her halter.

Then he would come in and itch and itch and itch.

Finally he was able to get in to see a dermatologist and sure enough he’s allergic to cow dander.

To be honest we found out about it probably a month ago. We just weren’t ready to give her up. I began cleaning out her stall and putting her up in the evenings but Don still had to let her out in the morning. We have big tubes of Alclometasone Diproplonate cream that he was smearing all over and still, itch, itch, itch.

Even though I am a selfish bastard I do eventually give in and two weeks ago I finally decided that this wasn’t fair and there was no practical way to keep Tilly on my work schedule without Don being part of it. Not to mention the fact that it broke his heart that he had to try to stay away from her. So I put an ad on Craigslist and Facebook and we sold her to a very nice young couple who lives about 10 minutes away.


They were kind enough to send us a picture of her in her new home. They offered to let us come visit her but that would just be too pathetic. But I will tell you, we have mourned her. I honestly, seriously had not realized how quickly and thoroughly she had become a part of this place. At 5 o’clock if I’m lost in thought or otherwise distracted I will still slip on my jacket intending to head out to the barn to put her up.

So that’s where we are and why we sold the cow. It’s just one of those things.

Many things seem to be converging on us these days. Don will be 60 on his next birthday. I will be 52 and somehow we are starting to feel our ages more than before. It’s also been weighing heavy on my mind that we will have to move into retirement with a mortgage if I continue to pursue this dream. I’m not sure I want to do that and without the cow we really don’t need so much space. All the other things I want to do can be done on a much smaller piece of land.

Right now all of this is just contemplation.



4 thoughts on “No Title

  1. For 25 years I lived in a lovely little bungalow, on a city lot, in Oakland, CA. It was not my dream, but the reality of making a living was that we lived in the city. I farmed the back yard. Literally. I read up on French intensive gardening, and the American version, Square Foot Gardening. I had my loom. I canned from the apple tree in the backyard and jam from the plum tree. I couldn’t keep bees–my then-husband wouldn’t have any part of that. The truth is, you make your world, wherever you are.
    If this particular version of the dream is too encumbering, you scale it to what’s important. Clearly, there is no cow in your future. Maybe a goat? Maybe a pygmy goat?

    1. freethnkr1965

      That’s almost exactly what we’ve begun discussing – modifying the dream to fit reality a little better. Except for the goat part. Not desperate enough to drink goat milk yet. Hahaha.

  2. Joanie Bell

    I feel you and Don will be happy wherever you are. You are both special people and will do well in ANY environment. We all do what we must and I hope, if you decide to move, that you do it with enthusiasm and not sadness.

    You have made your readers happy for years, sharing in your lives and adventures. You sound a bit down now, but I feel certain you won’t stay that way. You two are both great people and are meant for happiness.

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