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You can take the farmer off the farm ... (sometimes)Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012, at 9:50 AM
For many years I never thought traveling with a farmer would be anything I'd ever do. After all my farmer didn't like to travel -- nor could he. After taking over the family farm right after college, leaving a long list of livestock chores to a neighbor, or even a relative, just didn't seem right.
So vacations consisted of a few days away, solo visits with my family and the county and state fairs where we often traveled back each day to do the chores.
He also thinks dinner out in Sedalia is a vacation but I better not get into that here.
But then about three years ago we had a chance to go on a winter getaway with a large group of farmers.
It was then we realized we had a valuable new tool at our house willing and able to do our chores. In fact, we had two!! At the time they were 21 and 16 years old.
It's a funny thing about sons who are that old -- they want their parents to leave. In fact they are very encouraging.
"Dad, I really think Mom needs a vacation, you should go. Don't worry we'll take care of the farm ..."
It was then we realized (or maybe finally admitted to ourselves) the days of our children being between us and everything we did were long gone. Gone were the days they followed us from the bathroom to the bedroom to the kitchen to the shed and all points in between. Gone were the days where they needed constant attention (or at least a good video) to keep them happy for longer than two minutes
I miss those days.
Instead they were slowly replaced by, "When are you leaving?" "When can I leave," and "Why can't I go away to college at age 14?"
So it was because of this new tool that we went on a winter vacation with a large group of mostly farmers, who no doubt had some of these new fangled tools of their own at home (or at least good relatives!)
It turned out vacationing with other farmers was a good way to get my husband to agree to a trip. After all, it was with people he has things in common with: They all hate to leave home, and according to reports from their wives they are not much fun to travel with until they actually leave the farm. Then, amazingly, things get much better ...
When on the trip, I realized it's pretty easy to spot the farmers, whether they are on the beach or in a pool. Even in winter, faded farmers tans are one clue. Another is the caps, they usually are advertising a product ... DeKalb, Pioneer, John Deere, Case IH, etc.
I also noticed even far away from home they spend a lot of time talking about ... farming. They love to barter with vendors and so do the wives. Shopping isn't their thing, but eating is. Meat for every meal is a must -- and lots of it.
Not being able to take pocket knives and pliers on the plane is a hardship The magazines they read on the plane have names like "American Trucker" and "Tractor House," not a "People" or "Cosmo" in sight.
As I turned out, it was a wonderful winter escape with great memories. Five days away from farming (okay a few farmers would only stay away four) -- and they all made it fine. And our new "tools" at home -- well they made it fine too. Now they know they can do it. After all, their parents left during the worst snow storm and cold snap in 30 years.
Good things the farmers didn't know that was coming, we would have never got them out of Missouri.
The only problem we had was since they had to leave their tools at home -- no one had duct tape when a suitcase broke.
A farmer without duct tape? They must have all felt naked.
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