I've been transplanted. I grew up in Atlanta, and somehow landed in small-town Indiana. Very small. Smaller than my high school. I love it here and have asked my husband to promise me we'll never again live in a town big enough to have stoplights. But there were some adjustments. For one thing, I'd always had anonymity, so for 2 years I had nightmares about going to the post office naked. But about the cow . . .
We live on the edge of town - which means almost in the center of it - with an Amish farm to the east and an English (i.e., non-Amish) farm to the south. There are lots of horses, some hens and pigs, and cows. Occasionally you see a cow wandering around in the street somewhere. When I was a child, I do not remember ever looking out the window of my father's highrise office building and seeing, way down there, a Holstein wandering down Peachtree Street. So this was new to me. But it could startle even the natives. Finally, about that cow . . .
Early one Sunday morning Mertice woke up across the street from us, got her cup of coffee, and opened the front door. Looking out, she was eye-to-eye with a cow. It was standing on her front porch, calmly looking at her through the storm door. Mertice yelled for DeWayne that there was a cow on the porch. DeWayne, understandably, thought this was an exageration of some sort. Coming to see for himself, he discovered the literal truth - there was a cow on the porch. DeWayne never gets excited about anything, certainly not livestock. He calmly got a rope out of the garage, looped in around the Holstein's neck, looked at its brand, and walked it back home.
There's no particular moral to this story, except maybe that you should keep a length of rope in your garage. But the incident stands out in my mind as one of those times I was startled into asking myself, "Where am I, and how on earth did I get here?" Besides moving me to admiration of DeWayne's calm competence, the morning is symbolic of my time here. Some day when I'm in a nursing home with the last staged of dememtia, I'll be muttering about that cow.