Saturday, March 12, 2016

What a Difference a Year Makes

I was in the barn the other day helping Katherine with a difficult kidding.  Without going into all the gory details, she needed me to brace the goat’s head with my knees and then hold the goat’s hips into the air so that the baby, wedged inside, might slide backwards down the birth canal. 

Basically, we were using gravity to help “unstick” the baby.  It was most unpleasant for me, and I can only imagine how wretched it was for the poor goat.  So, I did what I sometimes do in unpleasant situations: I closed my eyes and thought about something else. Disassociation at its finest.

It occurred to me that another “goat year” has launched. The first goat show of the year has already come and gone -- uneventfully. Last year, you will recall, I was in the throes of a heated battle with my ex-partner, Bubba. The first show of last year was bearing down on us when an anonymous letter appeared in my mailbox announcing Bubba’s blossoming romance with our (former) daycare lady. The subsequent goat show had all the makings for a high drama “show down” until Bubba didn’t show up at all. Anyway, in the timeless words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I gotta say about that.” 

Here’s the link, it’s a good one: "Goat Show No Show"

What a difference a year makes.

This year, Katherine packed the trailer, hitched up the Suburban, and loaded 20 goats without me. Wait, that’s the same as last year. But last year I didn’t help because I was yapping away on my cell phone with “Sarah’s” ex-husband, gathering information. THIS YEAR, on the other hand, I was inside packing my bag for a romantic Valentine’s weekend with David. Katherine glared at me both years. Ah, teenagers.
We arrived at the goat show, parked the trailer, and walked the goats into the fairgrounds. “We” is probably not the correct pronoun here. Katherine drove and parked the trailer, and Bobby got stuck walking goats. I took pictures (more glares from Katherine).

Another sign of how far we’ve come this year came in the form of “pen assignments.” Each show has an organizer, a Grand Poobah of sorts, who manages all the entries, checks in the goats, coordinates with the fairgrounds, and … assigns pens to each exhibitor. As you can imagine, assigning pens is an art form and is political. Last year, our pens were in the back corner, as far away from Bubba and Sarah (in the front corner) as possible. I guess the Grand Poobah was trying to avoid … friction.
But this year … THIS year  we were front row. Our pens were slab-dab next to the show ring AND the gate, a mere two pens away from Bubba and Sarah. Words cannot convey how exciting this pen assignment was. “What does it matter, you crazy goat-lady?” you may be thinking. But, oh my friend, it matters. It so, so matters.

Maybe Katherine got front row because she brought so many goats. Or maybe it was because she’s recognized as a legit’ breeder and exhibitor? Whatever. Don’t care. It was both convenient and symbolic. And … near Bubba/Sarah. But that didn’t matter either.

Somehow, Cash’s showmanship outfit was at my house (handed down from Bobby, I think), so I brought it and hand-delivered it to Bubba with a genuine smile and “hello.”

The pre-show routine progressed as usual. Katherine groomed goats, trimmed hooves, decorated her pens (ahem, front row). I parked my chair with some pals and caught up on their lives and everyone else’s gossip. Goat people are a chatty bunch.
Trimming hooves
It didn’t even occur to me to keep an eye on Bubba/Sarah. It just didn’t matter.
I stayed for the Cash and Tallulah’s showmanship class, took some pictures of “Toga” doing goat show things (stay tuned…), and poked around the fair.

Cash & "Chevy"

I did still did my makeup and hair, but not to impress Bubba/Sarah. I did it to look nice for David, who arrived shortly after showmanship to whisk me off for a lovely day of wine tasting and romancing.

Playing Hooky From the Goat Show
It was a gorgeous, Northern California Valentine’s day. And the goat show chugged along (as usual). I checked in periodically with Katherine via text, and she did just fine without me (as usual).
The next day, Katherine packed the trailer, loaded the goats, and hitched up the Suburban. Home again, home again, jiggity jog. I have no idea what Bubba and Sarah did for Valentine’s Day.
Back at the ranch … I re-friended Bubba on Facebook and Katherine re-friended Sarah. Being angry takes so much energy. And for what? Life is short, get over it.
I frequently tell the children that a good night’s sleep will undo the ills of a rotten day. Time, distance and rest will adjust your perspective on just about anything. Sometimes it may take more than a single night; it may take a year. Or maybe longer. But hurt feelings do subside and a broken heart does mend. You have to allow it happen, and new good things will come your way. I promise.


No comments:

Post a Comment