The 50-Year Account

I’ve written before about our “tribe”. The people whom our lives are meshed with in such a way that there is a two-way road of support that happens as life requires it. This happens without a big song and dance, it just happens.

Since being on the farm I’ve been introduced to a phrase that neatly sums up the help that farming neighbours give each other from time to time. I don’t know if it is used by others, but up our road it is “the 50-year account”.

It might be a half a day in the shearing shed, borrowing an implement or piece of machinery, helping with a big cattle muster, keeping an eye on things while there is illness in the family or rides to sports training and the list goes on. Knowing that one day you are on the receiving end of your neighbours’ kindness, before too long they will very likely need your help in some way, and you will be there. The magical thing about the 50-year account is that there is no record kept of who is on which side of the ledger. In a world where it is easy to feel like we are just cogs in a machine and in the busyness no one really cares, this small statement: “We’ll just put it on the 50-year account”, says that just like you’ve been here for us when we have need you, we’ll always be there for you.  Quick, simple and mainly said between men.

As I said, there are no records kept of who is ahead, but we have had such generosity shown to us in the past 10 months, especially this year, that it has reiterated to us just how special our neighbours are, even those who have moved! Please know our dear family and friends that the account is still running, and we will always be there for you!