MY SISTER-IN-LAW

I abandoned a voyage exploring the Pacific coast for Pescadero 20 years ago, moved into a tepee, and worked for Three-Fingered Bil finishing furniture at his workshop out near the lighthouse. It was there I met my sister-in-law, Kathy. She was polished, charming ' as business-like then as now. I had my punky bed-hair (the eighties ' what can I say? Plus the lack of grooming opportunity in a tepee) tied back in a bandanna, but it didn't seem to put her brother off, and I've got to know Kathy well.

So, she came round to the farm to drop off jam last week, and was tempted to pet the babies, who are gorgeously soft and love attention. Sadly, we were around the next corner struggling to help a mother goat deliver two large babies, and Kathy, who is petite, has the most delicate hands available for gynecological procedures. Despite her lovely clothes and Italian leather boots, she worked for three hours to deliver the breech babies from the exhausted mother. It's an odd combination of brute strength but delicate maneuvering needed to remove babies without damaging their mother, and Kathy's arm was dark with bruising the next day.

I've delivered goats for many years now, but still feel the gut-wrenching emotion of a difficult birth, and I know Kathy was terribly drained by the experience. Thank you, Kathy.

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