Ah! The aroma of cow body odor, manure, and freshly-squeezed milk! How can I begin to describe it? Unique, maybe? Or fresh, perhaps? Memorable, for sure. That aroma is why milk makes me gag to this very day.
I blame it on my dad. When I was a kid, he took me to Wills’ Dairy Farm each week to buy milk. We’d enter the “milk parlor,” a small room with concrete-block walls and a cement floor at the front of a barn. Through a door at the back I could see cows curiously lined up in a row. Mr. Wills would fill our gallon “milk jug” from a refrigerated stainless steel tank for a whopping fifty cents. I would try not to breathe the entire time we were there. And then, after the milk sat in our refrigerator for an hour, an inch of off-white thick stuff would form on top. We’d have to shake it up before we could drink it. I’m feeling a bit sick remembering it.
So I didn’t drink milk as a kid. And I didn’t drink milk as a teenager. And I didn’t drink milk as an adult. Now I’m fifty-four years old and Dr. Schuster told me my bone density is decreasing due to a lack of calcium. Imagine that! I thought the next words out of his mouth would be to drink the white stuff. I was already formulating my protest.
“Get lots of sunshine and ice cream,” he said.
“What?” I exclaimed.
Dr. Schuster repeated, “Get lots of sunshine and ice cream.”
I liked his thinking! “Would you put that in writing?” I asked.
He opened his prescription pad and wrote: “SUNSHINE TRANSDERMAL QD, ICE CREAM PO QD.” (Translation: Sunshine on my skin daily and ice cream in my mouth every day!)
“Oh, how sweet the light of day and how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour” (Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 MSG).
My husband and I hardly ever argue, but we had a blow-up one this afternoon! It went something like this…
Tim was talking to my brother on the phone about where to dump gravel for the driveway.
Tim: “Just as the driveway starts to curve, dump it there on the LEFT.”
Becky: “No, the RIGHT.”
Tim (shaking his RIGHT hand at me): “What do you mean, the RIGHT? We want it on this side.”
Becky: “Look at what hand you’re shaking. That’s the RIGHT.”
Tim: “I know, but you said LEFT!”
I’ve been told I am a patient person. This is why—35 years of marriage.
“Love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV).
“You go help them and I’ll call 9-1-1!” I yelled.
Tim and I had been casually exploring the tiny mining town of Central City, Colorado, founded during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. We felt as if we were on the set of an old western movie. Saloons and casinos with names like “Easy Street” and “Bonanza” lined both sides of the narrow Main Street. We ate lunch at Millie’s Restaurant and poked around in Annie Oakley’s Emporium and General Store.
As we stepped out of the general store, the sound of a racing engine caused us to glance to the right. The sound was coming from a van and the van was flying down the hill toward the row of buildings across the street from us—no squealing tires—no brakes applied. Just before colliding with the end building, the van veered sharply to the right and crashed head-on into a rock wall.
Tim ran toward the accident and I grabbed my phone from the outside pocket of my purse. My hand was shaking so badly that I could hardly swipe the screen to unlock it. I hit “9-1-1” and had my finger on “Send” when a voice from behind me boomed, “Melvin is on the way!”
I spun around to find myself face-to-face with the sales clerk from Annie Oakley’s. “I already called and Melvin is on the way!” she repeated. It took me a second to realize what she was talking about. But then I heard it—the lone siren from one street away.
Are we in Mayberry? I wondered.
Melvin, Central City’s one on-duty police officer, arrived within seconds. He and Tim helped six dazed and bloody people climb out of the smoking van. One whiff of the air surrounding them made it quite clear that alcohol was involved. Melvin checked everybody over carefully and, miraculously, no one had major injuries. The driver attempted to inconspicuously mosey off, but Melvin was on her like Andy Griffith. That bunch definitely dodged the bullet of a tragic accident. Now, however, they were in big trouble with Melvin!
“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon” (Psalm 31:24 MSG).