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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer Vacation Lesson from the Farmer

 Summer is here which means family vacations for some of us and 4H projects for others.  If you were blessed to take a summer vacation and have 4-H projects, consider yourself lucky.  Free time on the farm doesn’t come around for some of our farmers or their families which means no vacation time.  However, staying home and learning about the various lessons from your 4-H projects can be an adventure as well.       

As a kid, we camped a lot with our friends around the state but didn’t take too many long summer vacations.  My mom would take us on our fancy trip to Chicago, “the big city”, to shop while the farmer stayed home for the harvest.  I am sure he was just fine staying home and away from the city and our shopping shenanigans, so it all worked out. 

The one time he went with us on a Spring Break trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama, I never really wanted to vacation with him again.  I was in the 5th grade and we were going with a big group of people to experience new adventures and to relax on the beach.  However, if you know farmers, they can’t really sit still. 

I was elated to stay in a condo with a view of the beach and surrounded by the noise of the big, blue waves.  However, the farmer had something else in mind for us on vacation.  We had to see the army bases and battleships.  It was not an experience this Midwestern farm girl that lived between the cows was expecting to have on her “vacation” to the beach. 

We even had to cut our trip short and head back to Indiana because my farmer dad noticed the corn sprouting from the fields in Alabama.  He got antsy, couldn’t sit still and had to get home to start planting.  I think I even started my 4-H projects earlier that year too. 

As time has gone on and I have traveled around the world, I think about that summer vacation and the time we spent learning about the history of our country and those that served on the battlefield.  I now understand that dad took us on adventures through the battleships to teach us something and why we were able to enjoy our vacations.  He taught us that it’s okay to sit on the beach and relax for a short time, but vacations should include life lessons just like those 4-H projects left behind to finish.  Even though I was mad we came home early, I think I earned more blue ribbons that year—lesson learned.

So take that summer vacation to sit still and relax for a moment!  But remember to learn a lesson or two while you are away from the farm or your home.  Enjoy that freedom to travel and be adventurous and give thanks for the lessons they teach you, maybe you’ll get a blue ribbon too.

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