Donna Cronk / New Castle Courier-Times photos // Jack Claborn visits with National Road Yard Sale Founder and Chairperson Patricia McDaniel as they prepare for the annual 800-plus-mile yard sale, May 31-June 4. Treasures, bargains and ... goats. Pat will be featured in a 7:30 a.m. segment Wednesday morning on Fox 59-Indianapolis TV.
Every year, along our nation's first cross-country route, U.S. 40, historically called The National Road, a continuous yard sale takes place on farms, at homes, businesses and in pop-up locations. This goes on for more than 800 miles, from Baltimore, Maryland, to St. Louis. This year it runs May 31-June 4. Jump on anywhere. While previewing the sale, I became inspired to write this column, which ran Sunday in the New Castle Courier-Times.
When you’ve been married as long as I have, there are certain things you don’t discuss. For example, goats.
Brian doesn’t understand what I see in a goat. He thinks they are stinky and without purpose. He doesn’t find them humorous or interesting in any way.
I happen to love goats, and can easily overlook any perceived flaws. I think they are funny and I am interested in how they seem to look at life differently than the other farm animals, let alone the humans.
If we drove by a pasture with a goat standing on the roof of a shed or in any other unexpected place on the property, you would find me laughing and craning my neck for an extended look. You would find Brian annoyed not only by the goat, but at my amusement.
It’s a topic on which we agree to disagree.
Maybe it’s a rural thing, because quite out of the blue, and without realizing that goats were a topic of dispute in my home, a friend from my hometown said that her requirement for buying a vehicle is that it is, and I quote, “big enough to haul a goat.”
I do know that I will never own a live goat. Never mind that it would be highly inappropriate and probably even a zoning violation to have one in the subdivision where we live. But also, I respect Brian’s feelings, however misguided they may be, about this topic.
I’m sure he would say he has shown a good measure of tolerance by never complaining about my collection of more than 100 Christmas sheep ornaments. (I’ve never seen a goat ornament. Wonder why.) He doesn’t understand the sheep collection, or why I like them so much, either, but he doesn’t make it an issue. We choose our battles.
It’s the same way, I suppose, that I tolerate the thick smears of peanut butter he leaves on table knives, the butter able to stick to the blades regardless of a run through the dishwasher, or the way he has been known to leave empty containers in the pantry or fridge. I don’t say a word. Well, mostly I don’t.
So I found myself in a marital quandary.
When interviewing Jack Claborn about his barnyard folk art, which includes huge, colorful chickens and round, life-size pigs, I mentally gasped when my eyes fell on the whimsical goat. Perfect!
I don’t know what the going price is for a real goat, but for one that’s a metal piece of folk art made in Texas, it’s $50.
What would Brian say if I texted him that I had just bought a goat for $50? Surely when he got home and saw that the animal grazed silently in the landscape and would require no feed, and there was no chance it would randomly appear on top of a car or stray into the neighbors’ garden, he would be relieved.
But that wouldn’t be the only option. Since he sees no charm in a real goat, it’s highly unlikely that a metal one would provide it.
My mind fought itself. Oh, I wanted that metal goat! What an unusual nod to my rural heritage it would be in the middle of our landscaping. It would be like a perfectly acceptable gazing ball ir bird bath – only not.
No one else would have a metal goat. Perhaps it would become a conversation piece. “The Cronks? Oh yeah, the ones with the garden goat.”
I would laugh at such a reference. Brian would not.
To my way of thinking, not getting my goat is our loss.
To Brian’s, well, let's just say he'd rather have the cash.
Donna Cronk is Neighbors Editor of The Courier-Times and edits the quarterly her magazine for women. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 765-575-4657. In her free time she enjoys speaking engagements encouraging people to live their dreams.