Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Dairyman versus the Family Vacation

I've gotten accustomed to spending time away from the farm over the past few years. A hectic travel schedule is part of the deal when you've had the opportunity to be involved in agricultural leadership as I have recently. I'm away from the farm this week, but it's not for a meeting or conference. Nope, I'm "relaxing" down at the beach with my family.

Now don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my family. Time away with my wife and kids is a really good thing, and they deserve my undivided attention from time to time. So here I am, sitting on a sandy beach doing nothing but sipping a cold adult beverage, listening to classic country music on Pandora, watching the kids play in the sand, and typing out this blog post (while my wife rightfully accuses me of ignoring her). Is it relaxing? Yes, but with relaxation comes a little guilt. Why? Because I know my dad and our employees are having to pick up the slack while I'm down at the beach doing nothing that improves our dairy. At least I feel like I'm indirectly helping our family business when I'm at a meeting/conference.

I was fine for the first 45 hours I was away from the farm, but I couldn't resist calling Dad at 8:00 this morning for an update. And I couldn't resist calling again after looking at a rain-filled RADAR image after lunch. Much of my thoughts from this point on until we get home will center around spraying Round-Up and planting forage sorghum.

We have one more full day down here before heading home Thursday morning, and I expect I'll fully enjoy myself and my time with my family between now and then. But I can guarantee you that we won't be back on the farm one moment too soon!

Thinking back on some of the family vacations we took when I was a kid, I guess I'm becoming more and more like my old man.


Steph said...

You sound exactly like Lance. The only vacation we'll be getting this year is to a Farmers Coop Conference at Perdido Beach in July. And if you can count the Commodity Conference. But we'll only get to go to that if we don't end up catching chickens that Thursday and Friday.

Will Gilmer said...

Joni and I did the co-op couples conference a few years ago. We had a good time, but didn't really stay long enough to consider it a true vacation. I'm also signed up for the Saturday sessions at Commodity Conference, but whether or not I go depends on what's happening on the farm. Maybe I'll see y'all there!

Anonymous said...

Mark is the exact same way...and the funny thing is, that on the way home, I can physically see a change in him, the closer we get to home. Enjoy your moments...and tell Joni I say HI!

Lin Gilmer said...

The farm will still be here when you get home. Enjoy your time away--you're making memories for Linton & Jilly. Give them a big hug & kiss from GG.
Love y'all,

Sara said...

I think any farm family can relate to this post. Any time we are on vacation, Scott has to check in, and his dad call's at least twice a day to make sure something hasn't blown up. But as hard as you all work, some much deserved down time and family time is well worth a little extra work before you leave to get done and a little extra work for everyone else back home- you'll soon get a chance to return the favor! Enjoy!

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Paul said...

I think all farmers must have separation anxiety! I am trying to squeeze in some time for my wife's vacation as well. Hope you had a little relaxation.