home and away

it was well over a decade ago when i met a lovely family, they joined our csa and we quickly became friends. we had a lot to share but one thing seemed so strange about them: despite sharing a home, a child, a life they chose to travel solo. she went one place, he went another, they juggled child care. they had their own vacation rhythm that often seemed just a little bit weird to me. you see, i was raised with the family vacation: christmas, spring, summer each had it’s own style and destination.  but each was special, significant and an integral part of my childhood. (if i had a scanner i would insert an aged picture of me and my sister on sanibel island)

now i am a mother, a wife, a farmer, a shepherd.  in all these years of family and farm life i have most definitely failed in creating our own vacation ritual. the excuse is we have so much to tend to here, the reality of leaving it all in someone else’s hands has proven an insurmountable task. we have swung weddings and funerals but that is really about it.

the time had come for me to let go of my own personal history with the family trip and let the reality of our family’s life surface. we had to split up. it took me some time to get here emotionally, i am hardly selfless, but it was clear a guys trip to california was first on the agenda. tickets were booked. plans were solidified and 2015 began with two of my favorite people flying westward to enjoy 15 days on the pacific coast.

in a conversation i had with our mechanic this past week i begged him to pick up my teenager’s four wheeler and do it’s annual maintenance along with a few repairs in his absence. i told him that father and son were visiting relatives on the coast and i was holding down the fort.  his first reaction was a mix of shock and dismay,  everyone thought i was getting the short end of the stick.

 

i am here now to report officially this is about the best thing ever that has happened for me and my family. don’t get me wrong, i can’t wait for them to return, but we have had a great time. i purposefully kept my to do list minimal in my guys’ absence. i wanted these days to be different for me and my younger children, i wanted to carve out time to do special things, rather than attempt to do all that i usually do along with all that my husband and son do too.

i have learned the farm is different without them here. the house is quieter, the rhythm slower, the pace is my own.  it has been totally sweet. i am confident all of us will have treasured memories of the first weeks of 2015;  the travelers and the stayers.

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7 thoughts on “home and away

  1. Great post! Did it take a lot of focused effort on your end to NOT do everything that needed doing in their absence?
    I’m a firm believer in – if one spouse goes away, then the spouse who stays gets to do as much fun stuff as they can while at home.
    Sounds like you’re having a great time.
    Stan

    • it took a huge focused effort, certainly, but i just stuck with it. in my happiness and the thrill of my younger children in having so much of my attention, we stayed totally away from any jealousy of the traveling guys.

  2. How wonderful that you have been able to enjoy this time… even though hubby and I can not do things together, due to our multiple disabled daughter, we enjoy sharing what we have experienced when the other returns :0) mari

    • i know we will have so many long and exciting talks when reunited. it is especially delightful as we normally spend all of our time together here, the divergent paths of the past weeks will offer so much to our family!

      • Yes they will Robin…It is good realizing that the family you have created with your husband and children, is different from the one you grew up in :0) mari

  3. I can relate to the anxieties associated with leaving the farm. We have managed to do it for, over the years, we have been lucky to locate a few very capable and responsible farm sitters. Some have stayed here while others have checked in for morning and evening chores. I worry and worry and worry … and, you know, nothing dramatic has ever happened while we were away. That’s not to say that ‘little’ things haven’t gone wrong … but nothing that our farm sitters haven’t been able to deal with. Although you have found time apart from your family to be positive, I would encourage you to try and find some folks who you can trust to look over the farm. Try it … you might find that being away from the place for short periods is equally valuable. D

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