For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1: 7
In my last story I mentioned that we went to the farm the last weekend of each month, to see my father’s parents. I will try to recall each of the four people who ran the farm in four separate posts.
He was a tall man whose height I rarely saw. He bent, stooped, knelt and doubled over everything he worked on and always had big hands covered in something from grease to soil, afterbirth to a jelly type substance he sometimes used on the cow’s udders. His hands were only clean when sitting at the dinner table. His early mornings were spent with the dairy herd. (Where the warm milk would be hand poured from buckets into a funnel then into a trough with small holes and fine trickles of milk would then flow down over the top of pipes kept cold with water running through them. He scooped off a little of the warm and then the cold milk for me to taste the difference. It was sweet and creamy.)
Each cow knew its place and on a blackboard I could see how many scoops of food each one got. Grandpa knew the naughty ones that tried to eat their portion and their neighbours. He would slap their hides with his big hand and say their name sternly. They would turn, blink with their long eye lashes and almost smile at him, and then only would they move over.
I remember asking why there was pink in the milk and why he gave it to his wild dairy cats. His answer was that the cow still had to be milked but that it had an infection, mastitus. The pink milk didn’t bother the cats whose main food were the farm mice and rats. Grandpa knew his cats but no one else could get near them, they were really wild, nothing like the ones that lived in and around the farm house.
Next to the dairy was grandpa’s dairy garden. There were other gardens but this one was his one. It was lush with plenty of water coming from the dairy. He only grew what grew well. Spinach, cabbage, beetroot, lettuce, potatoes , different onions and garlic. I can see him now stooping over to pick us some and then putting them into a cardboard box for us to take home. Lovely.
He never spoke a lot but was very loving to Ouma. His marriage to her had caused her family to never see her again. She was an Afrikaans child in a British concentration camp and then she chose to marry an English man.