When a Farmer Goes on Vacation

If I have learned anything about farmers, it’s this: they have a terrible time taking vacation.

There are two reasons for this phenomenon. First, they’re just busy. In the crazed daily life of a farmer, there is little time for relaxation and even less time to actually leave the farm for longer than a day or two. Second, a farmer’s brain is never able to switch off. For proof, I only need to look at our honeymoon in Mexico. While I was lounging in the sun, sipping a daiquiri, with my mind deliciously blank…

…Dairy Man was sketching a blueprint of a new barn and plotting the dairy’s next cow purchase.

He got itchy just sitting there. He couldn’t stop thinking about the farm.

For these reasons, many farmers don’t take vacations. They may occasionally go to a dairy conference in Ohio or visit family in a neighboring town, but they rarely travel far from home. What if the tractor breaks? What if an employee doesn’t show up for work? What if a cow gets sick? These are the thoughts that a farmer cannot turn off. The farm is his passion, his hobby, and his livelihood. And heaven help the farm wife who suggests he let the dairy fend for itself while we go on vacation. How dare she.

Thankfully, my Dairy Man is a little different. His workaholism does take breaks. Though he has trouble shutting of the cow side of his brain, he enjoys traveling. He’s actually been to Europe. I mean, c’mon now, this is not a farmer of old. In a future full of long hours and incessant mooing, I am looking forward to traveling with my Dairy Man. Preferably to warm places where the drinks come with little paper umbrellas. Or Italy.

But for now—as the Dairy Man works to get the new dairy off the ground—we will vacate to the cottage. For all of our little town’s deficiencies (and I’m mostly just referring to the lack of a Starbucks), it does boast a beautiful lake. It’s blue, it’s deep, and it makes us feel like we’re on vacation. My in-laws own two little cottages on the lake and we go there whenever possible.

This lake is the perfect compromise for the Dairy Man and I. We’re away. We can swim, tan, and go boating … all within spitting distance of the farm. Cow emergency? Never fear. Superfarmer can be there in 10.

While it wasn’t easy to quash my wanderlust when the Dairy Man and I first got married, I am learning to appreciate things like stability, open fields, and staycations at the cottage. Plus, I am promised that winter is a slow(er) time on the farm. Which, coincidentally is a great time to visit the Caribbean.

So. Maybe summer nights at the cottage are the perfect thing to satisfy us between now and the tropics? I hope you’re listening, honey.