If you missed our Live Video on Facebook or don't want to listen to me ramble, here's another version of what is bouncing around in my head about "vacation". I'm sure I mentioned some of this in the previous post but still wanted to touch on it anyway.
So this past weekend we went on vacation. It's our annual tradition that we've been doing now for 30+ years. It's also not a tradition I'm willing to give up. I hear comments like "you're always going on vacation" "lucky that you get to go on vacation; we never do" or stuff like that.
I sacrifice to go on vacation when we do finally get to go. I also have small children that I want to make sure have the same experiences growing up that I was graced with. I don't want to be the reason they are held back from seeing the world. But it's still a rub to hear comments that maybe were meant to be nice but arent' taken that way because they seem overly negative. We've been going to the Black Hills for 30+. The timing has shifted over the past decade so we are stuck with going around the Sturgis Rally but managed to miss it this year (I don't hear motorocycles from the Sanctuary today which is odd...two years ago we went during the 75th annual rally AND I was 9 months pregnant...that's how stuck I am on this tradition!!!).
Where we go, we have no cell phone reception, no tv, no internet, no nothing. It's fantastic. I can unplug and just enjoy nature and relax. There's so much stress of running a Sanctuary, working full time, and caring for little kids. There's so many expectations and pressure that going on a vacation is wonderful, even if traveling with kids isn't really a vacation!
|View from the valley where we stayed|
What some don't understand is that with 16 horses, 2 dogs, and 1 cat, there's a lot of prep work! Checking fencing (or putting up fencing or moving corral panels), moving water tanks and totes, and making sure everything is in working order before leaving. Making sure everyone has enough food and water is the biggest and most time consuming task when planning on going for even 24 hours. Then you have to throw temperatures into the equation too. Because depending on how hot or cold it'll be means different work.
It might not seem like there's that much to do (after watching the video) but we had to move water tanks and water totes around, which also means moving pallets. It also meant moving corral panels around and adjusting where the ponies would be. And because Chaos loves to rip out fence, put temporary fence back up even thought I knew full well, he'd pull it back down (and he did).
Then there's the ever present need to ask someone to check on the place. I want to make sure that whoever I beg to look in on the place and feed the dogs doesn't have to do that much. If all they have to do is make sure that no one has fallen out of the fence and to feed the dogs, then I'm happy. Then maybe I'm not overextending my good graces on that person.
And because not all the horses were at the Sanctuary, we also had to do some scheduling to get horses hauled back home, ensure there was enough dog/cat food, etc. So for every day we plan on being gone, it's a day of prep. And that prep is always after the kids go to bed, which also means we are doing some of this prep work in the dark, OR we have to wait to leave until after all the prep work is done, which pushes back the time we are planning on leaving (both happened this time).
I love getting to see the world, and having my kids see and experience those same things but it takes a lot of time and effort to get there. We sacrifice a lot at the Sanctuary so that the horses can live comfortably. We give up extravagances (like most rescues and sanctuaries do) but I am not willing to sacrifice my kids getting to see what the world has to offer. This month they will be 5 and 2 and these are the ages where they are the most impressionable and when there are no obligations (on their part) so I want to take advantage of it while it lasts. Because before you know it, they will be 25 and 22 and on their own doing their own things and not wanting to go on vacation with us.
So for now, I will smile politely when someone mentions me going on vacation in a somewhat negative way, think unkind thoughts, and continue on my vacation.
If you have any questions about what to do or prep for when going on travel or vacation, let me know and I'll see if I can help. If anyone wants to volunteer to stop out and check on the place while we go on vacation (because YES we WILL go on more vacations), please let me know.