Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Break

     So it's Thursday, time for Coffee Chat Tuesday with my cuz. Yes I know I'm two days behind, but the way things are going that is kind of ahead of the game right now. It's her fault anyway.

     I had a post ready to go, then read hers, didn't like mine anymore and wanted to not really expand on hers, just carry on with her theme. It touched on a couple of things I really liked and is very relate-able, we're family after all. So, here goes.

     I have never been on vacation with my parents, ever. I know, poor me, right. No Florida, Disneyland, African Lion Safari, Seaworld, nada. How deprived.

     I grew up an only child on a farm. We had 200 + head of cattle, 24 horses at their peak, pigs, sheep, chickens, you name it, we had it. That meant chores, everyday, every weekend, every season. We, as a family, couldn't be gone for any extended period of time, ie 8 hours. Things had to be fed, watered, cleaned, I'm sure you get the idea.

     Spring break was always a staycation, either having one of my cousins at my house, being at either of my grandparents or being at a cousin's house. Same with summer holidays. Why doing chores at someone else's house constituted fun, I'm not sure but.... there you have it.

     Years later, I had the strangest conversation with my Mom. I blame Oprah. She had seen this show, got thinking about how we never had those "bonding" family vacations, started feeling the "Mom/Parental guilt" and flat out asked me about how I felt about it, whether I felt I had missed out on something. I was speechless. (but only for a little while)

     I've always known how hard my parents worked. It may be easier when you grow up on a farm because you see it, everyday. I knew fairly early what it took to keep me warm, fed and clothed. Sure, some kids went on vacation to exotic locales but I knew that wasn't really an option.

     Instead, I always had a horse to ride, tractors to drive, haylofts to build forts in. It was just different for us, not less, not better, just different. I don't really ever remember feeling like I was missing out on anything.

     What I do remember. Trail rides, my grandfather make maple toffee for us, all of us piling into one bed like a bunch of puppies, my grandfather squirting milk at us as we ran shrieking down the barn floor, (he milked by hand), my aunt taking us all over the Eastern townships skiing, my mother or grandfather carting us to every horse show there was in Ontario or Eastern Quebec, making elaborate hay forts, watching chicks being hatched. I could go on and on.

     I knew my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We grew up together. I love the fact Rory is doing the same with her kids. Besides, I know her mom adores them.

     My cousin just came back from Cuba with his wife and their two children. When we were talking, did they mention the exotic locale? No, they went on about the gardener who taught them how to plait a lasso and catch lizards. It's not where you are, it's who you meet or who you're with.

     Whether you stayed home or are in far off lands, I hope you all have a great Spring Break.


  1. What a great post, Paul.
    You are so right, you really don't need to go on exotic vacations to enjoy life. We didn't suffer because we never went to Disney World. And now, you couldn't pay me to go there.
    I will be getting no Spring Break but I think I'll survive.

    1. Even as an adult I'm as likely to just go home and visit with family as to go somewhere exotic.
      With four kids is there such a thing as a break ever?

  2. wonderful. and it is funny that I never felt like I was missing out on anything growing up. I mean...I had actual horses to ride - not many little girls at school could say that!
    I love to travel - there's no denying that - exploring new and exotic locales is amazing. but I love so much more that my best childhood memories are those spent with family, and not of Space Mountain. The ride lasts, what...4 minutes? My memories are forever.

  3. I think it's funny parents so often remember what they didn't give rather than what they did.


Thanks for your comment, I hope you enjoyed your time in the "Kitchen".