Jennifer has been such an amazing friend. I really wanted to make her birthday special. Without a job, it's hard to spend much on presents, but some of the best gifts really aren't that expensive. Jennifer has a long list of things she wants to do in her life time...ride an elephant, ride a donkey into the Grand Canyon, and some other equally awesome things most of which I couldn't afford. I tried to see if I could find an elephant - no go. I found a place not far from my house that had camel rides, but that wasn't one of the items on her list. When I asked what she wanted for her birthday, she said, "I want to milk a cow."
Perfect! Since there a bunch of dairy farms in Maryland and Virginia that offer tours, I figured it would be easy to arrange. As luck would have it, Emma had recently taken a tour of a creamery with her school. When I started contacting places, I discovered that none of the local farms would allow people to milk the cows. Apparently, it's a liability issue - someone could get kicked or trampled. I asked my friends and family if they knew anyone with a cow - no luck.
I was growing very tired of telling the story and trying to convince someone to let Jennifer milk a cow. One of the last dairies on my list was Cows-N-Corn in Midland, Virginia. When I called them, I launched into a desperate plea to let Jennifer milk a cow. I think it was the 8th place that I called. I lucked out because I got to talk to one of the dairy farmers (who gives tours) and they agreed to let us come before they opened. Another reason they didn't let people milk the cows - if one person did it, everyone would want to do it, and that wasn't very practical.
On Saturday, October 14th, we headed over to the farm. Jennifer met a 4 year old milking cow named Bourbon. Bourbon wasn't just any cow - she had won several awards and her "royal" bloodline could be traced back to the 1800's. Jennifer was a natural at milking! She cranked out a pint of milk in no time at all. Who needs a silly machine when you have Jennifer! When she was finished milking, she asked if she could taste the milk. Unfortunately, they told her no! She should have just done it. Silly Jennifer! Everyone knows it's easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission!
While we were there, Jennifer found out that the lady who owns this farm has been giving tours of her dairy operation for six years! Each year, roughly 4,000 people come out for the tour and many of them ask to milk the cows. The answer is always no - Jennifer was the only person she allowed to do it.
I'm still not sure what part of my desperate plea convinced her to let us come out, but I am thankful that she said yes! Happy Birthday Jennifer! xoxoxo