We go to the barn tonight to coax calves to milk out the new Jersey picked out at the sale.  What we lack in whooshing milking machines, we gain in the soft suckling of baby calves.

Out of the trailer, into the stanchion, she stands with a black hided nose that nudges the corn distillers in the black feed tub placed in front of her.  A gate closes her left side off from the calves - he wants them to start on the right. 

First one calf, then another, then a third and finally a fourth calf is brought to her.  Bummer twin calves separated from their mothers who just can't be expected to make enough to sustain two, he's brought them to the barn to keep them alive, keep them growing, keep them nourished. 

While normally it's a race to get to the teat...tonight, when we just need them to nurse, no one is interested.

Calves circle, play, jump, butt....everything but nurse.

Frustration mounts, calves become more stubborn, and chore time just gets longer.


It's then that I think that we just have to walk away. 
We need to breathe.
We need to rethink our game plan.

But when I have given up - he has not had enough.


There are times in life when any one of us has wanted to give up.  When we've had enough, had too much, or just can't see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

It's then that we want to throw up our hands, throw in the towel and throw out the plan.

I think to myself - "How am I supposed to know?"

When will I know when enough is enough....and when it isn't?

And while I stand there, about ready to give up, he closes the gate close so that the calf has no choice but to stand.this.close to that teat that they all of sudden have decided not to want.  And he waits.  Sweat drips from his brow, and a forearm meets his tired head to wipe it away.  In my own head I throw up my hands and think to myself, "This just isn't going to work".

But then -

A neck stretches, a nose reaches and soon it's mouth opens and the tongue curls to meet the udder.  A head bumps, a cow jostles, but the calf stays constant. 


For the cow, for the hungry calf, for the frustrated humans.

Blessed, waited for, wished upon, need relief.


Is it experience? 
A gut feeling? 

Whatever it is - it's what makes us know when to stay.
It's that little voice that tells us that we need to push.
To give it just a bit more.
To take one more pace, pound one more post, try one more time.

So if others around you have thrown in the towel, or if you've thrown in the towel.....

Push on.

Relief is around the corner.


  1. Just the words I needed tonight! Thank you. I'm pushing on ... And thankful another day is right around the corner to push through!

  2. I have seen it over and over and over again...the frustration!!! Good job pushing on...great words!


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