We had a wonderful Christmas. Our oldest daughter Emily and son-in-law Jason drove up from Alabama. All of our children were at home under one roof. There is just nothing better. Not even expensive trips and cruises. Home is where it's at, in my book.
That is not to say that vacations aren't fun. Or good for you. Traveling is not essential, in fact in most cases it's a luxury--but sometimes a break is in order. Relaxation and recharging of batteries.
We made plans to go to Branson, Missouri after Christmas. I was really conflicted about going. I'm on a once a day milking schedule with Betsy the cow and though my friend Christy and her family offered to take care of the place while we were gone, up until the last minute I thought I might let the family go without me. Pongo, our month old Angus/Hereford bull calf, had just bloated. Bloat in cattle can be life threatening. I figured I would stay home with Mary Pat and have a bit of a "staycation." But that didn't feel right either. And Pongo miraculously got better.
We bought Timeshare for a reason--to force us to go on vacation. So I went. And I was reminded of some important things...
1. I love my family, even if we're not perfect, even if the lady in the room below complained that we woke her baby up with the noise and something falling off her wall. My children can be rowdy, but in truth, each year do better with traveling.
2. I love my husband, even when we fall into bed exhausted and cranky, wondering why we drove so far, far away to experience stress on yet a new and unique level. He took the children to museums and movies. He dealt with drama, he put up with me. He is an amazing person.
3. Branson, MO really is fun, even (maybe especially) when you take ten children, a couple of whom aren't yours.
4. Expensive lunches can be worth it if the waiters throw bread at you (Lambert's Cafe). Lots of stops on long car trips are not all bad.
5. A break from home and farm chores helped me relax, think and put things in perspective.
6. Friends you can count on to feed scores of livestock and milk your Jersey cow are priceless, the kind who devise a way to throw a blanket over a normally placid indoor-weinerdog-turned-snapping-killerdog to get it outside for a potty break.
7. And finally, I love coming back home. There is no sad feeling that vacation is over...I can't wait to drive up the lane.
"Home is where the heart is."
With our loved ones.
"A family is holy not because it is perfect but because God's grace is at work in it, helping it to set out anew everyday on the way of love."