Home Notes From Kathy When Have You Been Your Happiest?

When Have You Been Your Happiest?


Thanks to Don Ashford for this week’s Scoop. Like Don, I’ve been remembering all the good fortune and fun I’ve had. It felt good to read Don’s memories of happy times and I hope it will remind you of good times too.

When have you been your happiest? I was asked this question the other day and it really made me sit and ponder an answer. It seemed to be beyond me to come up with one.

It could have been the day after high school graduation and I realized that there was a big old world out there and I was beginning the rest of my life.

And lo and behold I married my best friend. There was no way it could get any better than this, but it did. The first of our two children was born. A couple of years later  the second child was born and for sure my life changed forever. On my priority list I was number four, and was as happy as a hog in the mud to be there.

The day we rented our first farm is really high on the list of happy days, not knowing at the time it would only last 2 years for no fault of our own.

For me, there was the day I finished my apprenticeship and passed my exam and became a journeyman pipefitter in Local Union 198 in Baton Rouge. This meant to me that even if the farming did not work out I could support my family.

The day that I finished my military obligation after 6 years of National Guard and most of one year on active duty, I was finally done.

The list of happy days is too long for me to record and it is a reality that mine would be different from others, but with watching Donnie and Karen grow up and sharing it all with Betty, and being a part of it all, was very special. Looking back, even the not so good days were probably better than remembered.

One thing I do know, spending your life with your best friend makes the worst days better. Seeing grandchildren and great grandchildren born are without question very, very happy days. Realizing that after a bout with breast cancer and all that that entails you will still have the love of your life for more years, that feeling is way more than happy.

The fact that I have taken to thinking back annoys me, I didn’t want to start working over my memories like an old man. But sometimes it seems to me that as hard as some of those days were, compared to today they have all been good days.

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Don Ashford
My name is Don Ashford and my wife is Betty and we live in Ethel, LA. It would be impossible for me to write a bio about myself without including Betty in it. We have been together since high school. I was in the senior class of 1955 and she was in the class of 1957. Do the math. We have raised cattle since 1959 except for a little time that I spent with Uncle Sam. We have grazed stockers, owned several cow- calf herds and custom grazed cattle for other folks. I worked as a pipefitter for more than 25 years. Until we went into the dairy business in 1977 we were as most people down here part-timers or week-end ranchers. Later after we had learned enough about MIG to talk about it so that it would be understood by others we put together a pasture-walk group to introduce it to our friends and neighbors. We belong to more farm groups then we probably should but we get great joy working with other people. What makes us most proud are our son and daughter, our 5 grandkids and our 7 great-grand kids. It has been a hell of a trip so far, but we are not done yet.


  1. Dear Don,

    Thanks so much for this thoughtful piece. As I read it I was reminded of several specific points in my life -epiphanies, really-
    where I was struck with trepidation, because was convinced that life was about to get harder, more difficult, more complicated. Looking back, I think I was right, except that each time, as life got more challenging, it actually got better.

    Like you, I am looking forward to more challenges.

    John Marble
    Crawfordsville, Oregon

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