Nov 22, 2010

"Hej Då!!"
(Swedish for "Good-Bye")

This past summer flew by faster than any we could remember.
Before we knew it Maxie's Dad, Kenneth, was coming to pick him up and take him back home again to get ready for the start of school.

While Hans and Kenneth talked about antiques, Maxie and Gustav reminisced about the fun times they had had together.....
 being showered with the pumphouse hose,
 wrestling by the red currants,

"netting up" from head to toe (literally) with the casings from the bluenet coverings that keep the birds off the berry bushes,
 and the day "on town" shopping for Gustav's new suit.

 Maxie spent his days working hard and learning so much:

feeding the animals and "doing the barn", creating his famous salad plates,

helping with all the farm implements,  learning to drive the tractor,

 haying and weeding,

and reading the manual for the new lawn tractor.

He was a great eater, had beautiful table manners, and loved ALL the food,

especially the långfil with fresh strawberries and cornflakes for breakfast,

and the rhubarb kräm and chocolate cake at the end of the workday on the farm.

For more fun:

there was a day with Gustav at Paradisbadet (the gigantic waterslide in Örnsköldsvik) which was judged a fantastic success by the number of times the man in charge told the two of them to "settle down", 
and the complete exhaustion displayed on the ride home.

Then there were the endless battles with the bows and arrows that Gustav constructed for them both to shoot each other all over the farmyard!

"Where you have life you have death"
is a truth that Maxie also came to grips with during his time with us.
He had to say "Hej Då" in a way we never would have expected.

When Gustav was out in the field one day he noticed this little bull calf was not doing too well so he brought him into the small animal barn.

                                                          Maxie cleaned one of the stalls and put down fresh hay,
 filled up a bucket with fresh water and another with grain,
and put both fresh grass and older hay down.


When the calf seemed too weak to eat or drink, he fed it with a bottle every day and rested it's head gently on the feeding board he had set up.

No animal ever received more tender care than this baby calf was given by Maxie.  He sat with it in the small animal barn for hours on end making every effort for it's comfort.
The little 'fur baby' lived for nine days and then quietly slipped away.
Gustav helped Maxie to make a grave in a grassy glen over by the fägata and they lined it all with flowers before laying the small body in and covering it over.
There are times in life when knowing that you did all you could is the only thing that can bring peace, and this seemed to be one of those times for Maxie.
We admired his gentleness and devotion so much.
Having Maxie was a wonderful experience for all of us.
He added a dimension to our life on the farm that we didn't even know we were missing.
He brought out the very best in Gustav who gave his all to make the summer
one that a 12 year old city boy would always remember.
We hated to see him go.

Hej Då Maxie!


midnight hysteria said...

you have such an amazing, tender way with words; i look forward so much to reading your postings ... thank you .... darlene, yakima, washington

Alan Klain said...

We are so happy for you and the beautiful life. Filling your measure of creation and sharing it with us.They are lucky to have you.And you are lucky to have them.