Mindy BCM: Hi Iris, thank you for agreeing to do an interview with me. How are you doing?
- IRIS: I’m doing OK, Mindy. Thanks. I love the name of your blog. It really makes you think.
Mindy BCM: Iris do you think your story would have been changed drastically if there were no goats or do you think with your animal background, any animal(s) would have won your heart?
- IRIS: That’s a good question, and I guess probably the answer is right there. I’ve just always felt this deep connection with animals, which I’m pretty sure I inherited from my dad. I’ve always wanted to be a vet like Dad. Sometimes you can feel closer to animals than you can to people. Like I love Beatrice and I always will, but it’s a complicated love that has to make allowances for the complicated things people do, their inconsistencies, their own difficult lives. You have to be strong for your friends and for the people you love. You have to be patient and forgiving. And you have to be that way with yourself, too. With animals it’s different. It’s simpler, I guess, in some ways, and much harder in some others, because they can’t talk, they can’t tell you what’s on their minds. Of course they can’t lie to you, either. But back to your question, yeah, I will always find animals to love. And they’ll always find me. So whether it was Aunt Sue’s goats and Gnarly, or the neighbors’ cows, or—and I can’t believe I’m saying this—the Tutens’ ferrets even, I’ll always have animals to hold close to my heart.
Mindy BCM: Do you think you will ever forgive your Aunt & Cousin?
- IRIS: Yeah, I guess. I mean that’s what Dad would want me to do, and Mr. DiDio, and Mr. and Mrs. Tuten. But that doesn’t mean let yourself be vulnerable to them any more. You have to take care of yourself. I guess I see Aunt Sue and Book as damaged people, but the problem with a lot of damaged people is the ways they can wreck other people’s lives, the way they can hurt you if you let them, and sometimes even when you don’t let them. So you forgive them because you don’t want resentment or anger or whatever eating you up inside, but you sure better be careful around them, too.
Mindy BCM: I really hope that you find a way to continue your love of softball. Do you see yourself sticking with it?
- IRIS: Definitely. Shirelle and I have great plans for the Craven High School team this year. We’ve been running some serious drills since a lot of the girls didn’t grow up playing the way I did, and so they don’t have the fundamentals of the game down quite just yet. But they’re all pretty athletic, so that’s what we need to build on. What I would love to do is play in college, maybe even see if I could get a scholarship, so I could major in biology, or any sort of pre-vet program they have, but keep playing softball. I shouldn’t brag or anything, but I hold the single-season record at my old high school for singles and stolen bases. The best thing about softball for me has always been just getting to be part of a team. Well, the second best thing. Dad always loved watching me play, and I always loved knowing he was there.
Mindy BCM: You are a true inspiration to us all. You have shown us that this world can be trusting, warm & loving. Do you have another favorite animals besides Goats? You have truly made me want to tell my husband YES the next time he asks if we can get some goats. You willing to share that goat cheese recipe?
- IRIS: I bet you’ll make a great goatherder, Mindy, and I hope your husband agrees to you guys taking some on. Goats are definitely my favorite animal, of course—and especially Patsy and Loretta and Tammy and Reba and Jo Dee and Huey and Louie (and I still miss Dewey). I guess I’ve always loved big slobbery dogs, too, about as much—dogs like Gnarly. You might want to try that goat recipe that’s in What Comes After where Littleberry and I are making the smoked goat cheese from a hard chevre with apple wood. Hard to top that, though you can do all sorts of wonderful things with different herbs if you want. And I’m a big fan of anything with jalapenos.
Thank you Iris for spending time with us today. You are truly amazing & I am so glad to have met with you. Take care!!!
- Thank you, too, Mindy. Happy goating!