Vacationing in a Pandemic

Our response to the pandemic was very proactive in nature. Before we were even mandated to by the state we closed down our community to self-quarantine so that we could still live our life together without fear. Given the exceptionally vulnerable population that we work with we felt it our heavy responsibility to keep these individuals and ourselves safe. This, of course, has come with its own set of difficulties, however, I feel so blessed in the midst of this pandemic. I can freely hug the people that surround me, I do not have to be hyper-vigilant about germs, I do not have to monitor how often people are touching their face and washing their hands. I do not have to enforce social distancing or mask wearing. I don’t have to live in fear.

I have not even had the opportunity to leave our farm and see how our local community is dealing with these issues. It’s living a life in a weird little bubble. Thankfully we have the use of modern technology to aid us in this time. To pursue educational activities and social. To maintain sanity or to still feel semi connected to the world at large.

However given the fact that I live where I work it means that I have not had a proper day off for months, let alone be able to take the vacation time that I have missed (please insert a very sad face here that is a longingly look at a picture of Greece which is where I was supposed to go with my son in May).

So I had to sit down and really think: what are my needs right now? Can I continue working without time away? And given the fact that we can’t get in a car what are the feasible options for taking space right now?

At this juncture, I can be grateful for a few things. The first is that my job is literally all about creative problem-solving. The second is that we have almost 200 acres of land at our disposal. The third is that my family is well-versed in the art of camping. And fourth have access to a really old camper.

So we will make do. We work with what we’ve been gifted. We found a nice mostly flat spot tucked into the back edge of a field right next to a babbling brook with lots of space for children to explore safely. With a nice place to dig out a fire pit, and we can use the tractor to bring an old picnic table out there. Sure it’s not a two week trip to A Mediterranean island paradise but it is what I have now. And theoretically, that island will still be there in the years to come. And I can choose to be frustrated and resentful or I could take that same energy into planning a trip that will be the memories that my children cherish for the rest of their lives.

I proactively ordered everyone’s favorite travel foods ahead of time, I have premade snacks and baked goods, frozen pancake mix so that it can be thawed and made in the mornings, assembled outdoor toys and field guides, I have come up with suggested ideas for day trip activities that can be done on foot around our property. This may not be the spring and summer that I dreamed of over the winter months, but it will now be known and proclaimed as the period of time in which we intimately got to know the land upon which we live and grew closer as a family.

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