SHARING and CARING…it’s what LIFE is all about!

To Milk or Not to Milk…That is the Question!

Posted by on Oct 27, 2013 in Blog, Food for Thought, Quotes | 9 comments

My husband laughs at me when I tell him I want to milk a cow. He doesn’t laugh in a ridiculing way; he just has this way of smiling with an almost invisible shake of the head.

There is no rational explanation as to why I want to do this. I just do. Maybe it’s because I should have been born on a farm back in the 1800s, like Laura Ingalls. The problem with that concept is that I’d starve. How could I possibly eat what I’ve named, fed, petted or raised? And the whole idea of beheading, plucking and cleaning the Christmas turkey would never be on my radar.

So, what’s this thing about milking a cow?

I think it has to do with having a bucket list…and I don’t have one, at least I don’t think I do. Yet, every time I mention my desire to milk a cow, I preface it with, “Number one on my bucket list is to milk a cow!” announcing it with sincere belief that someday it will happen. And just recently I’ve added one more thing to this supposedly nonexistent container: take the VIA train across Canada. My husband, with his grin well hidden has quietly informed me that I’d have to go alone and I’d better have very deep pockets. As you can tell, he isn’t taking me too seriously.

I read recently that “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did”—a thought-provoking remark Mark Twain has incorrectly been given credit for. I had to ask myself, “Would I be disappointed if I never milked cow? Would I languish over the fact that I never made the trip across Canada in a train?” Probably not. Then why bother with the bucket concept?

I wonder if it’s because, like many others, I have dreams of doing something out of the ordinary, at least, something out of the ordinary for me—such as an encounter with a bovine! I’m beginning to think that maybe I really do have a bucket brimming with goals and objectives, that there’s more in my bucket than milk!

There’s no end of information on the internet regarding the making of a bucket list, including: how, why, and the value and importance of putting your goals and life objectives in a proverbial bucket. In 1940 at 15 years of age, John Goddard made a list of 127 goals he wanted to achieve, including becoming “proficient in the use of a plane, motorcycle, tractor, surfboard, rifle, pistol, canoe, microscope, football, basketball, bow and arrow, lariat and boomerang.” All rather doable, I suppose. Then I read further that not only did he want to visit the moon but he wanted to “milk a poisonous snake” which makes my wish to milk a cow seem rather commonplace by comparison, but certainly much safer!

I will concede that there are realistic things that could be considered for a bucket list such as riding a unicycle or participating in the Tour de France. On the other hand, I believe that some suggestions offered by well-meaning—albeit head-in-the-clouds romantics—were not realistic and in some cases, beyond practical, such as hosting Saturday Night Live or extracting milk from a poisonous snake.

So, what’s the point of all of this? 

I’m just mildly curious to know if you have a bucket list and would be willing to respond to the following:

1.      Did you pause and give serious thought to the advantages of having a bucket list?

2.      Was the creation of a bucket list a useful undertaking?

3.      Does having a bucket list motivate and inspire you to complete unfinished jobs, change your direction in your career or help define some goals?

4.      Is there a concern that the numerous items on your list might control you, driving you to irrational behaviour and poor decisions?

5.      Can the growing list strip joy from your life and replace it with an unhealthy, competitive spirit that forces you to contemplate what must be done before death knocks on your door?

The author of The Christian Bucket (see link below) provides food for thought on items believers might consider adding to their bucket list. I found reading the list worthy of my time as I perused the list of 50 items, and I’m happy to say I could put a check mark beside many of them.

While I think of it, perhaps authoring 2 books could be added to the bucket…just so I could check it off as Done! But, there’s still one item that remains unchecked. To milk or not to milk. Only time will tell!


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Eleanor Thompson

    Go for the train ride!!!! Great adventure! First time I went with my sister in Economy! Lots of camaraderie in the car. Second time we had berths. Enjoyed every minute. Go with a friend if your husband won’t go with you!!!

    I don’t have a bucket list but there are some things I would like to have the opportunity to do. Milking a cow isn’t one of them1!!! 🙂

    • Ruth Waring

      Hey Eleanor, nice to hear from a new voice! Between your remarks and a comment on FB from an old friend, the train ride is sounding more and more doable! My mom took the train back in the early 70s all the way to Vancouver. She loved it. There just might be some hope for me yet…preferably with Doug, although I did go to the Maritimes on a book tour last Fall with my girlfriend:~) Thanks for connecting on my blog.

  2. Carol

    Hi, Ruth

    I really enjoyed this blog and the link you provided. I often think about how is the best way for me to spend my remaining time on earth.


    • Ruth Waring

      Hi Carol. Nice to see your name in my comment section of my blog! In reading your comment, I’m reminded of what my Uncle Vic wrote in my guest book back in the 70s. He was a Baptist Minister and loved the Lord and wrote, “Only one life t’will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” As time went by, I learned it was an old quote but it was new to me. Take care!

  3. Heather

    Great Post 🙂 Go for it Ruth, you can make both happen.

    • Ruth Waring

      Thanks, Heather! I’ve asked around here for some time and the best offer I get is to milk a goat! I might have to settle:~) As to the train ride…I’m still hoping! Love seeing your name in my comments! You are such an encourager!

  4. Brenda O'Keefe

    To milk a cow is a wonderful experience. First, you get to know her, give her a treat, stroke her velvet nose,(even if it is wet) Then sit on a three-legged stool and cuddle up close to her right flank. She smells so good! Next, with warm hands you caress her teats,(lugs) and start to squeeze gently from top to bottom. If she likes you she will give freely, as much as she can. Then when you are done, go back to her and give her a final treat and pat. She will look forward to the next session. The sound of the milk hitting the pail is like music, nothing else can compare.

    • Ruth Waring

      Gosh, Brenda, your instructions are wonderful. I need to be more diligent in looking for a cow to make friends with:)
      Any suggestions as to where I can find such a one in the Lindsay area? Maybe you could go with me! Sounds like a fun day!!

      • Brenda O'Keefe

        I don’t think anyone milks by hand any more! Years ago I had a goat, she would get up on a stand to be milked. There was a box with oats to keep her happy. As you may know, a goat only has two logs. She kept us in milk when the children were small.

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