Most grandchildren are presently too busy with plastic friends on iPhones to listen to or chat with grandparents. I hope that one day, one of mine will spare a little time to read Jane’s movements through thirteen schools in wartorn Scotland from 1934 to 1956.
Jane was the second and accidental daughter of a Scottish Lanarkshire dairy farmer. Her father’s wealth was gained from all the living children (five, plus three who died young and one in the Great War). He left school at nine years to work at home on the twice-daily, unremitting drudgery of a nineteenth-century dairy farm.
His first sighting of his baby Jane invoked the memorable words of this title with as much misbelief and disdain as only a farmer could.
Well, Daddy, so far I have lived thirty-two years longer than you, without the cows and a farm, because you so prematurely left us.