July 17th was the big day, Yoder Brothers had called, the pigs were processed and ready to go. Since Wendy, May, and I had sat in the back to take the pigs, we weren’t really familiar with the directions. The guys were working so my darling husband, Michael, set up his Garmin for us and since I am technically challenged, he showed me how easy it would be with just a couple of clicks. To be on the safe side I typed the address into Google and wrote out the directions.
My sister arrived right on time and we loaded her coolers into the Tahoe with ours. She had brought Greg’s big fishing cooler along with another smaller cooler, some boxes, and a large plastic tote. Hers along with our two and a half coolers looked like we had plenty of pig transport devices, once filled, we figured we’d let half the back seat down so we wouldn’t have to stack them, but that was probably the worst that could happen.
We got in the car and I told her how Michael had fixed the address into the thingy so we shouldn’t have any problem. There was a plastic holder thinger for the box to stick it to the windshield, but just as I would almost get it in there, it would pop back out. I told Wendy and May that it would be a distraction anyways and just stuck it in the console. There shouldn’t be any reason to look at it since it talks, so we were set.
We stopped for gas and beverages in Clarksville. Since we knew which way we were traveling, we just headed back in that direction. The lady in the box didn’t like the direction we were traveling and started insisting that we turn at the next left to re-something or other. After ignoring her for a while we figured that somehow she had gotten confused and was trying to get us back home. We pulled over and sure enough, that was the problem. We went through the clicks again and were on our way, well, for a while anyways when she started getting confused again. Wendy fixed it that time so we didn’t have to pull over again. She musta fixed it right because we made it all the way to Yoder Brothers.
Since it was Wednesday instead of Saturday, there were plenty of people there. They have windows in the retail part where you can see all the processing going on. The place is so clean that one might even be able to extend the five second rule by a bit. We gave them our tickets, paid our processing fees, and were told that we could turn the truck around to make the loading easier.
When the lady pushed out our rack of goodness, I was bacon blind. We started packing everything into coolers and quickly realized we didn’t bring enough coolers. Our pig overflowed into Wendy’s boxes and tote. Thank goodness we had passed so many bait shops when we went through “Land Between The Lakes”, we could just pick up some styrofoam coolers on the way home.
We got all the meat in the car and decided to just pick up some ice and more coolers on the way. The lady in the little box decided she didn’t want us going home, she wanted to go back to Yoder Brother’s, so we just ignored her. Our first stop, the first Dollar General we saw, was out of styrofoam coolers. We got four at a nearby gas station and quickly realized we’d probably need at least 4 more. Wendy got some ice and we stopped at the next Dollar General for another big cooler.
On the long ride home, we talked about all kinds of things, the most important being how it would be nice to trade in the lady in the box for Lord Commander Jon Snow or even Brad Pitt, then we discussed how shocked we were at the amount of meat in the back of the truck. We were over the “worst that could happen” as we pulled into the driveway and unloaded our bounty.
We unloaded Wendy’s pig parts into her car for her short ride home and then May and I started putting our pork up. We had just finished, sat down on the porch to enjoy a rest after all that heavy lifting when Michael called to say he was on his way home. I told him we had put up the pig and the coffee was brewing. After the first cup of coffee we went in the garage so he could see the freezer, it was packed. The kitchen freezer was also packed. We figured the worst that could happen was that we’d get tired of pork before we finished it all.
It never fails that when the worst that could happen (not enough cooler space) actually happens that you figure it’s smooth sailing. While it was probably in the back of our heads we never really thought the freezer would pick such an inopportune moment to clunk out, but it did. We moved some to the kitchen freezer and put the rest back into coolers topped with fifty pounds of ice. The next morning, May and I loaded the coolers into the truck and took them down to Granny Jan’s and Grandaddy’s. We told Granny Jan about our adventures the day prior and how all we could do was laugh about the freezer clunking as we unloaded the coolers into their freezer among the venison. Nothing bad happened and we passed a few hours with conversation.
Raising your own meat is rewarding in that you know what your food is eating. You have control that your food is not oozing in injected growth hormones or antibiotics. As we raised our pigs, we always talked about how we would be able to taste their happiness. They had a big field, shelter, foraged, were supplemented with feed, scratched, and petted. They ran, played, dipped in the pond, enjoying every bit of their piggy time on the farm, and we can taste it in the meat. We will definitely do it again because I don’t think I can ever purchase another pack of sad pork chops.