On Tuesday we went to Poplar Hill Goat Dairy in Scandia for a tour. Molly and Adele and cousin Lillian (2 to 5 years old) seemed to enjoy it and were interested in everything, and Colin (7), who is very smart but mildly autistic, managed to pay attention part of the time. They got to bottle feed kids, hold a couple 4-H project bunnies, and try milking a doe. Spencer and I found it refreshing, loved the smell of the barn full of pregnant does (sweet alfalfa hay, a hint of goat pellet, and the warm smell of contented animals), and mused over one day having kids to bottle feed ourselves.
Today we barely scraped into the afternoon Lent service, the girls being under the weather and tired. But it was a blessing anyway; the service was focused on patience and Christ’s passion. Patience is something I desperately need to be reminded of lately, because I am not used to being around anyone like Colin 24/7. My own kids test my patience all the time, but I felt like I was being worked on to withstand a little better and counter my own natural impatience with prayer and calmness–still I wasn’t ready for this. I am a very impatient and demanding person. I guess this is my chance to work on it. . .
Maybe when I get my first does from Poplar Hill (one day, Lord willing!), I will name one Patience to remind me of this time, that I need to keep my temper in prayer, that I am being made new all the time. Maybe I will be able to look back and be overjoyed that I am no longer as impatient and bad tempered as I once was. Here’s hoping.
It was particularly fascinating to me that all the children were drawn to the Saanen kids. Saanens are pure white. The other goats were French Alpines, Toggenburgs, and Nubians (those are the floppy eared, spotted goats so popular for their creamy milk), all in various shades of brown or black and white. But they all wanted to feed “the white one!” and made a to-do over trying to win its attention.