That road had the 'big dipper' One of those sweeping valley dips that made your stomach go weird when you went racing downward and then suddenly upward. It was a fantastic rush. We loved it. Mum and dad both used to go extra quick on the downward side just for that extra kick of adrenaline. We were so hooked. Our area, bordering the Downs, was not quite as lush, but still set amongst rolling hills. We had a block that was 2 miles long, a rocky hill, a creek, and a local history.
Exactly one mile from each other were the 2 Mr. B's, Mr Burke senior, was conveniently located on the appropriately named road. Father and son, they were both dairy farmers, thier houses situated exactly a 1/2 mile from my house on either side. The cows went out every morning at 5am and took themselves back at 4pm for milking. Mr Burke, was the neighborhood milkman.
It was a dastardly conspiracy known only to a handful of families.
(you should take that with the tongue in cheek approach)
It was at Mr B's (the elder) dairy where it all occured. The handful of hamlet residents who snuck up during or just after milking on a 'need basis' to collect thier stash of forbidden milk from Mr B who delighted in the fruits of country dairy exploits, right along with his wifes Pumpkin Scones.
It was the nectar that built the bones of country kids
Fresh, creamy goodness.
I learned how to hand milk a cow, despite the fact that Mr B used the latest in humane dairy milk extracting devices - I have no idea what they are actually called. They were those things that were attached to the udder of cows, who really didn't seem to mind at all. As full as many of them were, they were probably relieved, actually.
I learned how to churn butter with this milk, skimming the dairy fresh cream from the top.
...something I learned from the next door neighbors, who of course were in on the whole conspiracy, and churned butter each week in the country kitchen of the old homestead that was once the home base of much of the surrounding landscape, decades before. Land that was part of the now segmented 1 and 2 acre lots dotting the hills and ditches in our block.
Those of us, in our little hamlet, sneaking off to the local dairy with our 5 gallon plastic containers to obtain fresh milk straight from the vat, a usual biweekly event that was sworn to secrecy.
It was all great, life in the country was full of interesting experiences, the least of which was the local store, when we finally got one.
As progress would have it, people moved in, and built a shop attached to thier house, down on the corner, just down the road from us. We enjoyed it. We wouldn't have to drive 40 miles into town to buy icecream. But there is usually a price, and for us, it was soon to end the wayward ways of country residents, and the way Mr B conducted business.
The shop of course always wondered why they couldn't sell thier fancy milk in glass and/or plastic bottles for 3 times the price. Then of course they found out... and so did the appropriate government authority...and so ended out milk escapades. We were fresh out of milk, forced to buy from the shop, in bottles. Never again to skim cream from the top of the 5 gallon container.
It changed things in the countryside. Mr B instead had us mow his lawn after which we sat and enjoyed his wifes pumpkin scones from thier back porch, watching the cows, looking at the dairy. Remembering the butter that we churned, the cream we skimmed. We very rarely went into the dairy after that. But I still remember the big stainless steal vat that took up most of the floor in the front room of the dairy, near the office.