3rd Generation - Since 1907
100 Water Street
Skowhegan, Maine 04976
Udderly Surprised
My husband Richard and I always go back to the Midwest for Christmas knowing full well that even though we complain about the snow and cold it's really the best part of our whole year. Helping with the chores, cooking in the big farm kitchen, and sitting peacefully around the Christmas tree all help remind us that there's a simpler world to live in.

As much as I hated doing chores when I was a little girl, I look forward to those early morning trips to the barn to feed the hogs and milk the two cows my mom insists be kept so they always have fresh milk and cream. Mmmmm, nothing like fresh cream in your coffee -- real cream! And a hot cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven. Both would be waiting for us when we finished seeing to it that all of the animals were fed and watered.

It's no different on Christmas morning. We all trudge out to the barn, kids included, and we grumble and moan about having to take time away from the cozy fire and stack of unopened gifts.

This Christmas morning I volunteered to do the milking because I'm not all that fond of starting my day greeted by a bunch of pigs. The kids ran off to gather fresh eggs for breakfast, and I pulled up a stool and got down to business.

As I listened to the music of Moo's milk hitting the bucket I kept noticing that Big Mama standing next to us was awfully restless. "Take it easy Big Mama. I'm going as fast as I can here. What are you so antsy about anyway?" I kept up my chatter hoping to calm Big Mama enough to finish up with Moo.

Big Mama was not to be calmed though. "Hold that thought Moo", I said as I got up to check Mama and make sure nothing was wrong.

I patted Big Mama on the head and started to check her out to make sure everything was okay. She just seemed a little skittish, not sick in any way. I ran my hand across her back and down her flank. Everything fine there. Then I knelt down beside her to make sure she didn't have some sort of inflammation of her udders.

That's when I burst out laughing and reached out to remove the loosely tied ribbon that held a tiny little foil-wrapped package swinging in the air. "Richard, you goofball, you're making Big Mama a nervous wreck!" I laughed as he walked over to pat Mama on the side, shushing to calm her down.

Inside the box was a breathtaking pair of ruby earrings that I will always cherish. Not only do they remind me of how much Richard loves me, but they also remind me of the good times on the farm at Christmas.