I am in the process of another short-short story in my Memoir, this one about some memorable dairy cows we have known – at this moment I’m calling it – ‘To All the ‘Girls’ We’ve Loved Before’. And another that is still in early draft stage tells the saga of becoming dairy sharefarmers before we actually owned the farm – this one is still nameless at this point. An excerpt from each of these may appear in due course in my ‘journal’ ceedee country, which deals with all things farm and animal. The subject of the early days of sharefarming on this dairy, brought back a rush of memories of one of our dearest friends – a lifetime dairy farmer himself – Danish born, the same as my husband. The saying goes that everyone comes into your life for ‘a season, a reason … or forever‘. This special friend fit each one of those in a truly admirable fashion. Our most needy ‘season‘ was our early years of dairy farming when we were as green as the lush pastures we occupied, and later owned. What would we have done without him – the first one to acknowledge just how passionate our desire to get our own farm was? He was the one who introduced us to the share-farming position and the wealthy owner of the property – and we have no doubt that his recommendation and promised support, right from the beginning, was the main factor that won the day and our future for us. The ‘reason‘ quickly became apparent, as he advised and assisted us through countless ‘sticky’ moments. It seemed there was nothing about dairy farming and animal husbandry he didn’t know – or at least know the correct direction to point us. When our spirits were flagging, and at their most dispirited levels, he could pick us up so we could dust ourselves off, and start all over again. Coincidentally, the timing of our need matched perfectly to a need of his own. At this time, he was a particularly lonely widower, the father of three children. He had somehow battled through and survived the early years when his wife had died shortly after giving birth to their youngest child. He had been raising these children with a minimum of assistance – whilst milking cows for his family’s livelihood. Now his eldest daughter was able to relieve him of many of the burdens – and one of them was the ability to visit us, after milkings, sometimes weekly – and enjoy a few hours of company, discussions about everything on earth, as well as all things dairy. Oh yes, and we shared a glass of red or three, chased down with coffee and biscuits and Port. Great memories of many nights of him standing up in readiness to leave, refusing to sit down again because he was really on his way this time – but – “maybe-e-e … oh-h-h, OK … just one more glass before I go. Oh yes, and just before I go, I must tell you about ….!” He really loved those nights as much as we did. We have all enjoyed each other’s company for SO many years. We would go on to be owners of this dairy farm for 10 years, and he would find a wife – for himself, not for the sake of the children, because they no longer had the same needs. In a strange twist of fate, my husband Kanute was Master of Ceremonies at their wedding, and built the house of their dreams for them (after obtaining his Builder’s Licence following a previous history of carpentry and years in the Building industry). This was in a hiatus when we were no longer milking). They live there still, some 21 years later – this time span discovered when we were last together at another mutual friend’s 75th birthday. Our friend is now 87 years old – and our friendship still brings a glint to all our eyes … of mischief still, and a happy tear or two of memories shared from almost 40 years ago. I reckon that definitely covers the ‘forever‘ bit, don’t you?