My view from the milk stand today is about social distancing. There was a time when I disliked Facebook for its lack of real connection thinking that people have lost the ability to be truly social – i.e. picking up a phone and talking to someone or heaven-forbid, writing a letter or sending a card. Instead of calling someone, these days, people send texts. And oh, the texts – the abbreviated, misspelled, misused words – enough to drive someone like me certifyably crazy.
During this period of social distancing, I’m missing the connections. I’m missing the closeness, being able to stand close to someone and talk without worrying about possibly contracting or spreading COVID-19. People have gotten really, really weird and fearful. It’s understandable.
I’m not so sure, however, the resurgence in going out is really due to wanting to reconnect rather than fulfilling a need. I made the mistake of going to a department store on Saturday. I really wanted (key word here, wanted, I could have done without) smaller stainless-steel stock pots to make cheese. The two pots I’ve been using are huge and hard to manage. Try lifting a 16-quart stainless steel pot containing two gallons or more of milk over a cloth-lined colander perched on top of a bucket the catch the whey without spilling any.
Spillage happens and yes, I cry over spilled milk.
It wasn’t look before entering the store when I realized it was not a good place to be. The aisles where narrow and while the signage was plain indicating which way to travel up each aisle, they were being ignored. I grabbed my two pans and hightailed it out of there as quickly as I could. Standing in line to check out was another challenge in that most people were ignoring the little footprints painted in the floor indicating six feet.
We just aren’t geared for this social distancing and not being able to go to a store and purchase whatever it is we want or need. I’m as guilty of it as the next person.
The damage from this pandemic is going to be felt for years. Some people may never recover. I wonder if the signage on the floors will be painted over when it’s all over. I don’t think they should be. They could serve as reminders of what happened to us. Maybe it’ll prevent another occurrence, but I doubt it.
Meanwhile, as I milk, these mornings it’s been chilly so it’s pleasant getting as close as I can to a goat for her warmth and yes, comfort. Watching the milk stream from her udder into the pail is so very gratifying. It helps to prepare me for whatever it is I’ll face during the day. The beauty of it all is that I get to repeat the same thing in the evening.
Until later …