Good Gloves Don’t Grow on Trees

I take my gloves off for milking and lay them on Pip’s back, directly across the knobbed ridge of her spine. Palms down so the curve of the gloves match the curve of her ribs. I always do it this way.

Later, when it’s time to go to the woods to finish bucking the red maples I’d dropped the day prior, I cannot find my gloves. I do the usual things: Search the designated cubby in the mudroom, check the warming shelf of the cookstove (three other pairs, but none mine), blame the boys. Always, blame the boys.

And I then remember. Of course. Pip’s back.

I gather the saw, chaps, helmet. Drink some water, because I don’t like being thirsty when I’m working in the woods, and though I could bring water with me, it’s more than I wish to carry. So I toss back a pint, enough to see me through, but not so much I’ll have to pee. Because the other thing I don’t like when I’m working in the woods is stopping to pee, all that fumbling of chaps, pants, underwear. The balance between thirst and peeing is a tricky one, and I don’t always get it right.

I gas the saw, carry it bare-handed to where the cows are gathered around the remnants of a round bale. They look particularly resigned today. And yes: There they are, my gloves, still atop Pip’s back, exactly as I’d left them nearly two hours before, and I wonder why she hasn’t tried to shake them off, or if she’s even noticed their small weight, or perhaps been broken to it by all the mornings I’ve laid them atop her.

I set the saw down, pluck them off her back, slide them on. Glad for them. Because they’re good gloves, and good gloves don’t grow on trees.

Music: The Turnpike Troubadours doing Doreen. Fan-freaking-tastic!




23 thoughts on “Good Gloves Don’t Grow on Trees”

  1. There once was a bovine named Pip
    Who gave gallons and gallons to sip.
    In addition to that,
    She wore gloves like a hat
    Me thinks she has earned a big tip!

    1. So it’s gloves that you need to buck trees
      Lest your hands, in the cold, start to freeze
      Drink some water, then dance
      And fumble your pants
      Gloved fingers search thick bvds.

      1. Once inside those thick B.V.D.’s
        The trick is to locate the weez.
        Then pump like all hell
        To spray a stream well
        Before the plumbing can freeze.

      2. There once were two ne’er do well brothers Who always tried to outdo t’other They were funny (a wee) When rhyming ‘bout pee And STILL a disgrace to their mother


  2. Grommits and a saddle blanket pin is a effective way to keep a pair of gloves together and attached to your coat when they aren’t on your hands.

    Do you favor a particular brand and/or style of leather gloves?

    1. How about what brand and style for what job? I have so many gloves for so many projects (gardening, throwing hay, cold weather, funky old ones for dealing with machinery)

      Thank you to the person who invented gloves!

    2. I’m pretty fond of the basic Kinco insulated gloves. Cheap, comfy, tough. I’m also a big fan of the non-insulated Stihl-branded gloves… which are probably just a re-branded generic glove. If it’s above 20 or so degrees, those are my go-to.

      1. I can’t say I even know what kind of leather is in my gloves… I’m sure the Stihl ones I mentioned are pig or goat… they’re really soft and supple but also seem quite tough. I bet the Kincos are whatever they get cheapest… probably bovine.

  3. Wow, a LOT of strategizing on that farm: to pee or not to pee, to drink or not to drink, to blame the boys or blame the wife, or blame the cow… Good strategy always gives us a bit of comfort.

  4. Nice little poems there:} I also try to get the water/pee thing right. I usually get it quite wrong. This isn’t good when you have whooping cough and a weak bladder from childbirth.

  5. OK, the gloves are off:

    While out in the barn last Fall
    the 3 year old felt nature’s call
    behind the cows
    his stream was a Wow
    that PeePaw could barely recall

  6. Winter is one time when I am reminded of the advantage men have (or, so it seems to me) in that department. Less body to expose to the cold when taking care of Nature’s Call. Also, makes me rethink my habit of wearing overalls. Much more trouble in winter when a heavy coat covers them. Thanks for always reminding us of the joy and humor to be found in the every day.

  7. Ben….At my age that delivers increasing trips to the WC, I’m happy to report that I don’t own any chaps. The other stuff….well, I deal with it. There is no choice!

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