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A hot cup of tea.

This is Edith. She is Farmwife #1 in my first book, Farmwives in Profile.

But she’s also so much more than that. Edith became a close friend after I interviewed her for my book. After she and her husband, Albert, spent the afternoon sharing their farm life experiences with me, I knew they were special.

I admired how they finished each other’s sentences, how she laughed at all his jokes, and the pride they had in showing me the letter they received from the Queen honouring their 65th wedding anniversary.

“That means we’re goddamned important,” said Albert. And he was right.

Our friendship continued to grow over the years. I couldn’t wait to share the book with them in print, but sadly Albert passed away before he could see it. I could only imagine how proud he would have been to see his story (and his chosen language) in a book. Maybe he’d put it somewhere special, just like the letter he received from the Queen.

Over the years, there were times that my friendship with Edith filled gaps in my life that I didn’t know I was missing. She always had a hot cup of tea and a listening ear, ready to offer her advice, wisdom and insight.

Edith was the sweetest friend you could ask for. Edith has since passed, and I’m so glad I have these photos to look back on, even though she teased me about them.

I couldn’t have imagined the interview with Edith and Albert would begin such a sweet friendship, but I am forever grateful that it did. It was a gift.

I always said the experience of writing these books had meant so much to me. It’s really been the gift that keeps on giving.

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Billi J. Miller is an author, photographer, speaker from east-central Alberta, Canada. You can find out how to work with her here.

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