Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Gonna Get Your Goat

While were driving through the county looking for the perfect property, (this was somewhat like searching for the perfect Christmas tree—too much house, too little acreage; great acreage, too little house), we passed a farm with enclosures of goats. I wanted to stop . I felt drawn to those creatures. My husband felt the need to flee. “Stop some other time,” he absently said aloud. Over the next month, I mentioned the goats several times. He always gave me this “smile” and rolled his eyes. He just never knows what I will come up with next! Truthfully, I think he loves this about me, since I keep his life interesting. Never a dull moment around here!

I did finally stop on my way to the city one hot May afternoon. I was all dressed up for a much needed Mother’s day out. I passed though the first line of defense, the guardian dogs (more about our darling Daisy in future posts), and somewhat timidly knocked on the door. An older man in worn denim overalls answered the door. “Yes, well, I would like to ask you about your goats; I want to learn about them.” I spoke somewhat shakily. “I’m kind of busy right now and on the telephone,” he told me. My optimistic voice replied, “That’s okay, I can wait.”

Thinking back on this now, I am sure that as I stood there dressed like an office worker, he didn’t know quite what to make of me. I waited on a chair in his living room. Fomr there, I could just see his back through the office door barely blocking a computer screen. Ten, and then fifteen minutes went by as I petted his little dog in my lap. I could hear the computer keyboard clicking away. He had hung up the phone shortly after I entered and sat down. Twenty-five minutes later, I sat there waiting. I dropped my keys as a gentle reminder. He did not hear me. Should I say something?

Now, at this point, I was afraid to startle him suddenly. He had obviously forgotten me altogether. I crossed to the door of the small office and cleared my throat gently saying, “I can see you really are busy. I’m sorry to have stopped by unannounced.. I could come back another time when it is more convenient, if you wouldn’t mind.” I whispered a small prayer that he would indeed allow me to return.

As he turned from the computer screen, he flushed simultaneously with embarrassment, confusion, and also recognition of what had just taken place. “Oh, I am so sorry, I completely forgot about you. I really am in need of getting this piece, which is broken, for my milking machine right away.” He offered it up for me to view. He continued, “ It broke this morning and I can’t seem to find a replacement part.”

Of course, I didn’t know anything about goats, so how would I know anything about milking them? Just the same, I was so excited that he was willing to talk with me. I properly introduced myself. He inquired about my husband since the last name was familiar. Yes, they actually had met at a local Bible study. He was very friendly and talkative now.

We spent some time outside as he introduced me to the goats and allowed me to make the five statements that I knew about goats. I had been reading up on goats since the first time I drove past his farm. Of course, there were a few details I was lacking which quickly were set right.

It turned out to be, as that line in “Casablanca” goes, “The beginning of a beautiful friendship.”