In the past month we traveled over 1,700 miles. From Michigan to Vermont and back. In a truck. With three kids. Let that sink in for awhile. My pre-vacation worries of crying and whining were unfounded as our kids are turning out to be pretty great travelers. We visited Joe’s grandma and his aunts, uncles, cousins and other extended family who still live in Joe’s mom’s home state of Vermont.
Getting the farmer away from the farm isn’t always easy. There is always something that must be done but sometimes you have to put things on hold to invest in the family. The memories that were made on this trip are priceless. Joe’s Vermont family welcomed us with open arms. His grandma hosted a party one night where over 20 family members came. It was so much fun to see people we hadn’t seen in years and also meet some new family members. I especially enjoyed trying new foods at the feast they prepared!
Joe’s family was so gracious to show us their favorite spots in the area that included hiking, kayaking, and a museum. The timing of our trip allowed us to attend an ice cream social at Joe’s grandma’s church. How nice it was to show the girls the church that their Great-Grandma Kinsey, Grandma Stanger, and Aunt Beth were married in! Of course Joe spent the evening talking to the sheep farmer in the congregation who makes cheese with her milk. Those farmers always find each other!
On the way out to Vermont we stopped at Niagara Falls and on the way home we explored Montreal for a day.
We returned in time for me to do laundry and get ready for our annual Darke County Fair trip. I drove down to my parent’s house (2 1/2 hours) with the kids for a four day visit. I don’t enjoy leaving Joe, but we agree that family time is so important. I have attended this fair since I started showing in 4-H at age nine. This fair is becoming a part of my kid’s summer tradition. Most days at the fair were spent playing and getting dirty. They played with their cousins and other kids in the barn jumping off straw bales, pushed tractors in dirt, hugged heifers, ate corn dogs and snow cones, looked at 4-H projects, met people who knew their mom “back in the day,” and showed a calf.
I am so grateful for my dad and brothers who make it possible for my kids to get experience in the show ring. My girls and their cousin Cale showed in the dairy pee-wee showmanship class and all three recieved a rossette which means they placed in the top five! Both of my girls really enjoyed showing. But if you asked them what they liked best about the fair, they said it was seeing their cousins. I’m sure the night they spent in the camper at the fair with my dad ranks pretty high as well, since they got doughnuts and hot chocolate before they fed the cows in the morning and THEN ate a breakfast of sausage and eggs! Oh, and then had another doughnut!
Last year Lane was just a month old, so we only stayed for a short time. This year we were happy to be able to watch the open show. We were excited when my dad and brothers won Grand Champion!!! Hard work does pay off!
Although it has been a short summer for the kids and I, two awesome trips have helped make it meaningful. Many miles in a vehicle result in memories for a lifetime. Here comes fall!