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Opinion: Foster mothers of the human race

I was going into Rite Aid Drug Store the other day, when I was met by a crowd of people carrying ice cream cones out of the store, and looking about as happy as they could.

Rite Aid supposedly has the best ice cream in town, and I will admit, their ice cream is great. But the customers of Cold Stone Creamery and Baskin-Robbins might argue with you.

It takes a lot of work to run an ice cream store, as most ice cream store owners will tell you. Some of them make their own ice cream, others purchase it in big cartons. In either case, you have to have a freezer to keep it in, a freezer you don’t want to see break down. A breakdown will result in having cartons of melted ice cream which you will have to toss out — or take home.

The customers at Rite Aid were packing as much ice cream from that store as they could carry. And they looked like it. I eat no small amount of Rite Aid ice cream myself, but I try to take it one scoop at a time so I don’t have to wear it around my waist for too long. These customers obviously did not feel the same way as I did.

I used to have a Jersey cow that gave unusually creamy and sweet milk, even for a Jersey.

I bought a hand-cranked ice cream freezer and learned how to make ice cream that was the best of all time.

It may have been as good as Rite Aid’s, or even that of Cold Stone Creamery, I don’t rightly remember. I just know when our kids would come over, they would bring plastic bowls to carry home their shares of it.

This particular Jersey cow, which we had acquired from the previous owners of our hobby farm, was named Wanda the Cow. It was customary for hobby farmers to name their cows in lieu of giving them numbers. Present-day cows, usually big Holsteins, do not have names, but numbers, which makes them easier to keep track of in their large herds.

But Wanda did not need to be numbered. She was a small cow, and not hard to keep track of. I watched her give birth once, in one of our lovely, green pastures, and it was a beautiful sight. Wanda was tan, and the little calf she bore was tan, as well, but had some nice white markings on it.

The neighbors came by to watch, and it was a good thing I had made ice cream a few days before. Good old Wanda. Not only did she provide the pleasure of sweet nourishment, but also free entertainment in the pasture.

June, nationally celebrated as Dairy Month is especially important in California, which is the biggest dairy state in the country. There are a lot of dairies in Madera County, contributing not only the complete nourishing food of milk, but also treats such as the customers at Rite Aid, Baskin-Robbins and Coldstone Creamery enjoy.

Wanda the Cow is long gone, as is her sweet little calf Glenda. But I still remember the two as among the foster mothers of the human race, as are the big Holstein herds of today.

Remember what your Mom said: Drink your milk!

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