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Serving: WI
elevated view of Devil's Lake State Park, Baraboo area, Wisconsin UWMadison/Getty Images
ON THE LAKE: Sometimes it’s nice to get away for a weekend and do something different, with or without the kids.

Life is a balancing act

Working hard is important, but so is taking a break once in a while.

Most farmers I know are very hardworking and industrious. While some farmers have mastered the art of taking vacations, there is still a large number who can’t remember the last time they took a milking off, or they are quite proud to say they haven’t been on a vacation in years.

If you are in the latter group, keep reading.

Taking time off

I know times have been tough on the farm, but that’s no excuse for not taking a few days off. In fact, a short getaway may be just what the doctor ordered. Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin have found that spending time in nature can reduce symptoms of depression, so if you’re feeling down, taking a vacation somewhere green could do the trick.

Vacations don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes it’s nice to just get away for a weekend and do something different, with or without the kids. You don’t have to go far — see where you can go on a tankful of gas. Here in Wisconsin, maybe that means planning a getaway to Door County or to a lake up north that boasts great fishing. Or spend a weekend at Wisconsin Dells at a hotel with an indoor waterpark.

Our four sons are grown, and three are married now. For Christmas 2018, I decided to book a five-day vacation last summer at a house on a lake in western Wisconsin, about a two-hour drive west of where we live. I invited our sons and their wives to join us. We even brought a couple of dogs. I wasn’t sure if they would like spending five days with their parents, but they said they had as much fun as we did. So, I went online and booked another house on a lake for five days this summer in central Wisconsin.

My biggest challenge was finding five consecutive days over a weekend that everyone could take off so we could be together. We’re planning to do some fishing and go kayaking on the lake that will be out our back door, play some board games and yard games, put puzzles together, and watch a couple of movies. Each couple brings food for one day for everyone and is responsible for cooking and doing dishes that day, although there is a dishwasher.

Besides having time to relax and have fun, my favorite thing is being able to reconnect with our grown sons and daughters-in-law. We all work, and everyone is so busy. It seems like we don’t take enough time during the year to just hang out together like we did when the boys were growing up. Creating memories, having fun and relaxing is important, and it is a great gift for the whole family.

So, do yourself, your family and your blood pressure a favor, and schedule a vacation or getaway, or two, this summer. Find someone to handle your chores for a few days and live a little. You will be glad you did!

Comments? Email fran.oleary@farmprogress.com.

TAGS: Farm Life
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