Last week we returned from a glorious nine day vacation to Lake Cumberland, Kentucky.
Yes, we are one of those that traveled during COVID-19. Don't worry, we spent eight days on a boat with just the four of us, so we were more social distanced than we would have been at home.
It can be difficult for farmers to take vacations, but if you haven't been able to tell, it is sometimes harder for us to stay home than it is to get up and go.
When we leave the farm, we don't just leave the dog behind, we leave a whole bunch of animals that need to be cared for.
We are very fortunate to have some amazing neighbors that let us use and abuse them when we leave. It can be a lot to take care of everything, so lately we have been dividing responsibilities so we don't overwhelm any one person.
One neighbor takes care of the cats, chickens, waters the flowers and checks to make sure the automatic waterers are working, and the cows at the house are all alive and looking well. Summer is easy because as long as they have water and we put out extra bales of hay, the cows pretty much fend for themselves.
Nash goes to the kennel because he is still a bundle of energy and a little too much for the neighbors to handle. Daisy was easy because she was content to sleep most of the time. Unfortunately, we lost Daisy last month, so we didn't need to have anyone look after her for this trip.
We do have some cows pastured at another farm and that farmer was gracious enough to just count the cows each night and check to make sure the water troughs were full.
Everything was great...until it wasn't...
It is never good when you get the dreaded phone call, but it's really not good to get that call when you are vacation.
Yes, we were six hours from home and got the call that one of the cows was out and ran for the woods...in the direction of the state route.
We were also in a location that cell phone signal was very sketchy...like if you wiggled your elbow you might lose your signal. We stood very still and made a couple of phone calls and quickly realized that most of the neighborhood had already been alerted and were already involved in the search efforts.
A few hours later we realized this cow did not want to be found.
It is a pretty unsettling feeling to be so far from home and completely helpless, but I know those at home felt just as helpless. We know that any time we buy a cow, that cow could die tomorrow. Nothing is guaranteed, but there sure were lots of thoughts running through our heads.
After about an hour of trying not to panic and realizing we were helpless, we went about our day praying for the best.
Thankfully, we got a call that evening that the cow had come back for her dinner and a crew was able to corral her back into the fence.
What a relief!
We never did figure out how she got out, but she managed to keep herself contained for the remainder of the trip.
Her name is Spirit and she sure has some Spirit...but that is not at all why she was named that.
It was actually a really hard decision to take this vacation (that should be the easy part, right?).
Someone else was supposed to go with us this year, but it just wasn't going to work out. We decided to just postpone the trip until next year...until we started looking at next year.
Hopefully, life will be back to normal next year and we will have cattle shows in June, July and August. Yes, that's right...not much time in there to take a vacation.
But the biggest clincher was that Isaac graduates next year. That means we have a graduation party and he will be leaving for college at some point. There is no guarantee that we will even be able to step away for a few days next year.
It is pretty sobering to realize that this might be the last vacation as a family, and if we have learned anything these past few years it is that you grab the opportunity when you have it.
We spent eight days on the water soaking up the sun, trying to fade those farmer's tans, enjoying time together and just floating and relaxing with no responsibilities. It seems that stress is all around us this year, especially since our work stress has invaded our home life. It was a great escape and we are glad we took the plunge.
And we are very thankful for great neighbors who put up with all of our adventures.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.