If you have "liked" my Diary of a Dairy Wife Facebook page then you know that The Milkman and I took the kids on a camping trip last weekend for Milkmaid #1's birthday. She doesn't actually turn 9 until later this month, but her birthday always falls during the county fair, just after school starts and it's hard to have an acceptable celebration during that time. Don't worry though, she won't let us think for a minute that we have celebrated enough. We will have to go eat at a place of her choosing and there must be more cupcakes!
Our camping trip was a classic kind of mini vacation for us. We were supposed to leave the farm Friday at 2 or so. The Milkman and the fellow "Choppers" that we do a couple of other farm's silage chopping for were chopping away and the chopper broke down. (that was a lot of chopping) Now this isn't shocking. If you have a farm you know that something will ALWAYS be broke down somewhere. This breakdown was one of those cussing, greasy, massive undertaking breakdowns. This was a down for a couple of days kind of breakdown. And since The Milkman is one of the mechanics they proceeded to tear our chopper down and fix the problem.
The Milkman and the other Choppers are quite handy. They fix just about everything that breaks on our trucks, tractors, chopper, and every other piece of equipment. There are problems that are beyond their expertise, but they can admit when they have been defeated. The chopper didn't defeat them...it just put us behind schedule.
I'm not a scheduler. I'm not a planner. After 11 years of marriage to a dairy farmer you learn that planning something will only end in a cranky you and a broken plan. But for this camping trip I had worked my tail off and managed to get everything as done as I could all by myself. And I'm waiting. And I'm calling. And I'm cranky. Because we are late.
The Milkmaids had already went to camp with my in-laws. They all went a day earlier than we did so I was ready to get camp set up and see the girls.
And finally....at 2:30 in comes The Milkman. Solid black. Grease as thick as makeup on a drag queen. Well....that's gonna take some scrubbing.
"Are you ready!!?" I asked him. Because....dang it....my plans are screwed up.
He wasn't very pleasant. No the chopper wasn't fixed. And he felt guilty leaving the Choppers with a broke down piece of equipment.
And I just didn't think about how their day didn't go as planned. Their plans of chopping silage and getting close to finished were ruined. And when I realized it I felt really bad. Everyone had ruined plans and I was being selfish about mine. But he got home and.....
We still weren't ready to leave. The Milkman had to put out feed to the milk cows. 2 loads. A little more waiting. And while he was feeding the clouds start rolling in. And it gets dark. And darker. And the bottom drops out of the sky about the time The Milkman gets done putting out the feed and parking the tractor.
Now I still can't finish loading up because everything in the back of the truck will be soaked. So we come in, The Milkman gets in the shower to scrub off the mechanic makeup he is wearing, and we wait. And we wait. And it rains for about an hour. Not a light sprinkling rain, but an hour of a downpour. And once again, my plan for being there early, unpacking, organizing the camper, and getting all the supper stuff going was gone.
We finally left the house about 4:30 or so. We got to camp about an hour later and it was time to eat. So I had to control my OCD and need for things to have a place to stay. And as it happened...we did not stop going the whole weekend. And I managed to live with the camper in a state of chaos. It didn't kill me. What a relief.
It did rain on us a couple of times. On Saturday it rained about 2-3 inches in a couple of hours. That was the only time we slowed down and I managed to get the Milkmaids to take a nap....and I joined them.
We walked the trails, the kids fished, they rode bikes, ran around like crazies, and partied 'till the cows came home....or till we came home to the cows.
And God taught me a few lessons. Lessons that he tries to teach me quite frequently, but I'm so stubborn they don't seem to take.
Life doesn't go as planned. We can plan and plan and plan, but if God's plan doesn't line up with ours then whatever we planned just isn't the way it's gonna be. Deal with it. He sees things that we cannot. We may be late to where ever we are going, but it may be the only thing that keeps us out of the 20 car pile up on the interstate. We may not get to go on the trip we planned, but it is probably in our best interest for some reason we can't see.
I am not in control. I can work out every detail. I can arrange everything. I can spend time trying to control the details. And I will fail. I can admit that I have some control issues.
I like for things to be done the way I want them to. I like for things to go as planned. I like to be prepared. But I am not in control. That's hard for a control freak to acknowledge and admit.
Guess what.....if you will allow yourself....there is fun to be had and beauty to be seen if you will let go of the control and the plan.
Our camping trip wasn't ruined because we were late or because I couldn't get the camper put together the way I wanted. The kids had a blast. We got to spend quality time with some friends and some family. We had a killer dinner Saturday night with everyone....actually we had a lot of eating. Food is the main ingredient of a good trip.
We are so thankful that we could get away for a couple of days and spend time with our family. It was a much needed mini vacation. Running your own business, being your own boss has its advantages, but when you don't get to leave it at work and just go home it puts stress on your household that you don't realize. We don't suffer from having the farm, but it isn't the kind of job that has a set of hours and outside of those hours is free time. It isn't always easy, but it works for us. These little trips give us some time to breathe and just be a family. We are thankful we have hired help that can be counted on when we are gone.
I don't have another plan for a mini vacation again, but when I do I will try (keyword there) to be a little more flexible and a little less "in control." I should probably work on that when it comes to other things and not just the vacations....
If I can do it so can the rest of you control freaks. If you tend to control everything and feel the need to have everything planned out, I challenge you to pick a small task and step back from the plan and from the control and just pray that God will show you that He can make things happen without your help. It may surprise you.