My parents were courageous to leave behind the life they knew and take on this decrepit (now retreat-like) homestead.
They said later that so many couples they knew in Arlington Heights were divorcing and I suppose they imagined living on a farm would be a way to escape all of that. My mom would say she wanted us to be like the Walton’s (when we fought). No such luck there!
We joined 4H and learned how to raise various animals and grow a garden.
Jersey cows, horses, pigs, chickens and ducks became our outside roommates along with a handful of cats that multiplied over the years. Two dogs and the occasional cat about to go into labor were the only animals that shared our house.
I may have been intellectually stunted.
We moved from a good school system to one that hired basketball coaches then asked them if they could, by the way, teach history (reason I got that D?). But I found out how to care for baby Jersey calves and raise them to be mommas that we’d milk.
My brother had the first Jersey, who he named Gloria. I followed with Marigold and a series of others who I named after flowers. Cows… flowers… makes sense. Both contain “ow.” The similarity ends there.