Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Strolling Goat
On our midnight drive to Fleetwood last night, I was taken by the beauty of the full moon, as it emerged from the filtered clouds that were obscuring it. First an eggy smudge, then a clean-edged, glowing man-in-the moon face emerged, just glowering down and daring us to live our orderly lives. It's been a chaotic day or two. Lunacy; ba-dum-bump. Back in 1978, when I was a photographer of newborns at Booth Maternity Hospital in Philadelphia, the nurses swore by the moon. When the full moon approached, they prepared for more deliveries. I know emergency rooms are busier near the full moon, as are bars (having been both a patron of both and a bartender in my younger years). Tides are higher, and farmers plant by the cycles of the moon. Animals statistically bite more often, and are seen in animal emergency rooms more often, and their human victims are seen with more frequency in the human ERs. Who am I to argue? Sure, there are skeptics. Not me; I believe in the pull of the moon. After all, we're 80% water. We have cycles and tides, too. So, with this in mind, I took the time provided by our late night drive to reflect upon the moon as the moon reflected upon me. And I found it easier to accept the craziness of the day I had experienced. My Australian uncle, enroute to see my mother in Fleetwood, PA, had been bumped from his flight twice. Having changed his plans several times over the past few days, I was used to the "flexible" arrangements, so it really wasn't a problem. He, having traveled from Australia to Singapore to Germany to Kentucky to Pennsylvania in the course of a month or two, was unimpressed by a few bumped flights. My poor mother (not quite so cosmopolitan) was frantic, and between my mother, my aunt, my husband, the various airlines and myself, we burned up our share of phone minutes last night. How did we ever function without cell phones? Happily, he finally arrived in Allentown at 10:30 last night, and we delivered him unscathed to my 81 year old mother who was nearly jumping up and down while holding her walker with one hand when we arrived. She was glowing as brightly as that full moon. It was worth it.
Uncle Paul was full of news about the various cousins (mine) he visited on his journey. Among them was my cousin Michael who (according to uncle Paul) owns the Hooters franchise in much of Germany. How did this happen? The last time I looked at pictures (my mother fans them out like poker cards every time I see her) he was a little boy, then a young handsome man. I guess he grew up, all right. I took a rather risque udder picture today, in honor of the situation, but have decided not to post it. Hooters of Coopersburg. I'm happy for his success, but really surprised! Here I was thinking I was hot stuff for graduating summa in the 80's and becoming a teacher. Hahahahaha! Hooters trumps public education, at least financially! But public education has its own rewards, right? Right. It does. Really. Something has kept me coming back for 22 years...and it's not the paycheck.
The other cousin who uncle Paul had great reports about was his own youngest child, now the mother of four children, who has, with her husband, made sound decisions and investments, and has just bought her 4th house. Drives to work in a Mercedes. Well, it's not like Michael's personal assistant and (most likely) humvee, but it sure isn't a Chevy truck that ANOTHER cousin (blush) drives either. It's ok. I like my life. And last night, MY personal assistant, Peter, was driving us to Fleetwood in his Ford Contour. It doesn't get much better than that, does it Mr. Moon? The goats were capricious both yesterday and today, having learned how to wiggle under the fence to allow themselves access to the barn door and food; inside, they have also learned how to unbolt gates, and are pretty much in control these days. If they could just learn how to milk themselves and deliver to the milk house, I'd be ok with that; it's the independent strolling down the lane that worries me. I'm pulling double duty at the dairy the next two days, as I'll be helping out Kendra, who helps me out on my days off. I'll also be a visiting goat-sitter at her home tonight and tomorrow. Her LaManchas will most likely add some excitement to my evening tonight, after wrestling with my girls at Flint Hill.
Like the goats, cows and horse, as I get older I am more disrupted by change, though on my best days the distraction of those disruptions is a good thing. Yesterday was full of smiles. I'll try to remember that as I gaze at the full moon tonight. I hope the goats, the relatives and the air lines do the same. Moonstruck, all of us. It's a beautiful, if chaotic thing.

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