Once upon a time, we lived in a town that had a honey man. It was a beautiful town and we lived next door to my best friend and her family.
Our children called each other brother and sister.
In short, it was a bit of a golden hour in our lifetime.
Every now and then, one of us gets a yearning to revisit that time in our lives, so we drive back.
Each time we visit, we go to see the honey man.
For about 10 years, we have turned up at his house, empty jars under our arms, and asked him to fill them for us.
He has under-charged us and we have overpaid him. It is a happy mutual arrangement, and we still end up with a bargain.
In the earliest days, I would go to the back door of the house and call out.
The honey man's wife, confined to a wheelchair after a routine medical procedure went wrong, would either call to him or point me to the shed, where he would be pottering about.
He was always pleased to see us, although I doubt he knows our names to this day.
"How are things in..." he struggles to remember the town.
"Gunnedah," I fill in for him.
"That's right," he says, pleased with me for getting it right, "Gunnedah!"
And he would sit on a low stool and fill the jar from a giant vat.
Each year, he has become a little frailer, a little more transparent.
This month, we visited the fairytale town for my daughter's birthday.
She wanted to go to the annual show with a friend - an exaggerated memory of colours and rides still strong in her mind.
On the way home, I went to see the honey man. It was early on a Sunday morning and I didn't feel good about visiting at that hour.
I went to the back of the house and the honey man was sitting outside his glorious shed - just sitting.
He looked at me, a little confused at first.
"I thought you might be at church," I said.
"Me?" he laughed. "It would fall down."
I asked after his health - not so good - and his wife.
He said her health had also gone downhill and she was now in a home for the aged.
I asked him how he was getting along and he said he was all right.
I got my honey after the usual friendly banter over the price, and said goodbye.
Ten years had marched on and the honey man was sitting silent outside his shed.
The honey, he had told me, had darkened, but it still tasted the same.
Next time, the honey, perhaps even the man, might not be there.
We don't live in a fairytale.
But, if we did, the honey man and his wife would live forever in their nicely kept house, eating lunch formally each day and filling honey jars for people who appear every now and then.
Perhaps those people would live forever too.
Marie Low is a freelance journalist based in Gunnedah, New South Wales.