You can do more than you think.

This motto could have been posted on my family’s doorway.

It was certainly tattooed onto our brains.

And there are serious downsides to living by this motto but I’ll leave that for another day.

The flu bug visited my family this week.

Me, my husband, and one daughter.

Down and out.

Sore stomach, splitting headache, fever, chills, shakiness, and oh, those aching joints.

If we weren’t all hit at the same time I would have thought a tick had visited me again.

I am here to answer the question of what happens when the farmer and the farmer’s husband are both sick?

Do you call in some nice, unsuspecting, soul to share your germs and milk your cow?

Or do you ‘just do it’?

My oldest did everything but the milking.

I just did it.

Despite the shivering and the shaking.

When I came up from the barn my husband said, “I’d never make it as a POW or anything, I just couldn’t do it.”

Of course I was so tired I could only say, “that is why women have the babies not the men!”

Now that I have slept and recovered I realize I should have said, “There is some deep satisfaction in doing what you think you can not do, there is some deep joy in having that great, big cow turn around and lick and nudge you in the middle of milking, cheering you on.”

Not that I recommend torturing oneself,  but, sometimes, only sometimes, pushing past the presumed breaking point and finding that extra oomph is empowering.

And again I am amazed at my cows’ ability to discern when I need a nudge or they need a kiss.

Someone once said to me, ‘oh, cows are so dumb, just standing around chewing their cuds all day, how can you stand it.’

It didn’t come to me then, but later, after a particularly difficult, and always disgruntled, relative had visited, a relative who thinks they are, and is thought to be – very intelligent; I thought “you know what – cows aren’t stupid, they are content, and people often mix up the two”.

That would have been the right answer to the dumb cow comment.  Just because a creature is not seeking, searching, pushing boundaries in some very visible way,  it does not mean they are not intelligent, it might just mean they are content.  They, they being cows, possess some inner peace that centers them, but when something is slightly off emotionally these huge beasts are aware and responsive in a way that some supposedly-intelligent creatures are not.

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