Myrtle the Milk Cow

Jersy cowWhen I was a kid growing up on a 60 acre “ranch” near Poyen, Arkansas, my Dad, the late Millard Watson “Slim” Calhoun, accumulated an interesting menagerie of animals and feathered fowl. What the beasts and the birds did not know was that we had a big chest type freezer in the back room that was just beckoning to be filled. My brother Joe, and I, ate a lot when we were growing up, and for good reason. It was on that farm that we learned how to work whether we felt like it or not! We got fed for tending to the farm. But it was good! We had quail, pheasant, chukar, ducks, rabbits, chickens, pigs (mmm, that home-made bacon and smoked sausage!), and beef, and a huge garden every year. But a favorite memory of mine is Myrtle, the Jersey milk cow. Momma would go down to the barn and milk that cow, and when she got through straining the milk and it sat in the refrigerator a while, the top part of the gallon was cream and the bottom part was rich milk. After it had set overnight, the cream on top would be kind of skimmed over with a thick coat, and I would “sneak” in there and get a big glop of that and eat it straight! And of course, when strawberries were in season, mix that stuff with sugar and eat it over fresh strawberries – wow! That canned fuzzy stuff in the store today is just no comparison! We were living “high on the hog” when it came to eating! But I remember Myrtle in particular, because to this day, whip cream, ice cream, and cold milk still tantalizes my taste buds. Fast food back then was shucking an ear of sweet corn and eating it right there in the field and pouring off a cup of that fresh milk when you just get in from the barn and mixing some ice cubes and sugar with it – it was like melted liquid ice cream!jar milk cream

The gospel, the good news, tells us through what Jesus has already done for us, we can be feasting on fine spiritual food and milking a “Myrtle” to enjoy the spiritual “land” that “flows with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8). God arranged for us to enjoy life. If we are not, we have the privilege to keep making adjustments until we line up with his way of doing things, so that life can be a joy, in spite of the hard work. 3-27-15


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