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Schedule time to get away this summer

Badger View: Creating memories, having fun and relaxing are important.

Fran O'Leary, Wisconsin Agriculturist Senior Editor

June 11, 2024

3 Min Read
Family roasting marshmallows around fire pit
TIME TO RELAX: Do yourself, your family and your blood pressure a favor and book a getaway or two this summer. FRAN O’LEARY

Most farmers I know are very hardworking and productive. While some have mastered the art of taking time off and are quite good at it, there are still a large number of farmers who can’t remember the last time they took a milking off or 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 are tough on the farm right now for nearly every farmer except those who raise beef, 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 trip somewhere green could help you feel better.

Vacations don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes it’s nice to just get away for a long 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. Maybe that means a getaway to Door County or to a cabin on a lake up north that boasts great fishing. Or spend a weekend at Wisconsin Dells at a hotel with a water park.

Our four sons are grown and married, and we have a 2-year-old granddaughter. A few years ago, I started booking a four- or five-day vacation in July or August at a house on a lake in northern or western Wisconsin — between two and four hours from where we live. I invite our family to join us.

That first year, I wasn’t sure if they would like spending that much time with their parents, but they say they have as much fun as we do. So, each Christmas I go online and book another house on a lake. My biggest challenge is finding four or five consecutive days over a weekend that everyone can take off so we can be together.

Reconnect and unwind

This summer we are spending five days in northern Wisconsin. We’re planning to go fishing, kayaking and boating 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.

Besides having time to relax and have fun, my favorite thing is just 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 lived at home. Creating memories, having fun and relaxing is important, and it is a great gift for the whole family, including our granddaughter.

So, do yourself, your family and your blood pressure a favor and schedule a 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!

About the Author(s)

Fran O'Leary

Wisconsin Agriculturist Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Fran O’Leary lives in Brandon, Wis., and has been editor of Wisconsin Agriculturist since 2003. Even though O’Leary was born and raised on a farm in Illinois, she has spent most of her life in Wisconsin. She moved to the state when she was 18 years old and later graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Before becoming editor of Wisconsin Agriculturist, O’Leary worked at Johnson Hill Press in Fort Atkinson as a writer and editor of farm business publications and at the Janesville Gazette in Janesville as farm editor and a feature writer. Later, she signed on as a public relations associate at Bader Rutter in Brookfield, and served as managing editor and farm editor at The Reporter, a daily newspaper in Fond du Lac.

She has been a member of American Agricultural Editors’ Association (now Agricultural Communicators Network) since 2003.

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