A lot of folks are curious about where an author gets book ideas.
You don’t have to look far to figure out where inspiration came from for my third novel, Lead Me Home.
My cousins have a dairy farm about five miles from where we live. It’s been a place of intrigue and beauty, respite and fascination of mine for decades, and they were gracious enough to indulge my curiosity during the times I needed to do research for this book. Come tour with me today! Also, you can learn all about their brand new creamery, called Dandy Breeze, at their website.
This is me at the Dairy Barn at the Indiana State Fair.
And here come the cows, also lovingly referred to as, “the girls,” moseying in as they do each morning and evening like clockwork for their twice-a-day milkings. They don’t even have to be called or herded in, they know the routine so well.
Occasionally they stop and stare at the obvious city girl taking pictures.
City girls can be quite annoying.
“Mooooove along now, city girl,” she says.
Linger too long and they’ll try and kiss ya.
Once they get to the barn, they mosey right up to the stanchions and wait to be milked, happy to have their burgeoning udders emptied and to have a bit of hay for a milking snack.
They really are happy to be milked.
The milk goes into the cooling tank in the next room, where it is stored until the milk tanker truck comes and takes it to the plant for processing into cheese and ice cream and YUM.
Did someone say ICE CREAM???
Once they’re done with the milking, each girl gets her teats cleaned (if you’re a real farmer you don’t giggle at this phrase). Then she eases herself out of the stanchions and finds her way back out of the barn to where a hearty grain dinner awaits.
Bellies full, the girls then take the worn path back to the pasture.
And find a patch of shade.
Meanwhile back at the barn, there’s much work to be done.
The pre-teen and teen girls need tending.
And the babies need to be fed their share of milk.
I mean seriously.
Can you STAND the cuteness???
Why don’t my eyelashes naturally look like that?
Isn’t this somethin’??!
The work never ends on the dairy farm.
I’ve not even shown you the plowing and planting and cutting and baling, the sick cows and droughts and floods. I’m not even showing you the way the barn looks at 0400 and 1630 every. single. day. 24/7/365. And all the minutes in between when the cleaning and prepping and hauling and dirty, stinky, nasty parts of the job that happen every. single. day. too.
No, the work never ends on the dairy farm.
But along the way there sure are a lot of blessings.
A harvest of hope and blessings, indeed.
“Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work.”
James 5:7 (MSG)
What part of the dairy farm intrigues you the most?
What’s your favorite picture?
Can you see how there are so many parallels between a life of farming and a life of faith?