Take Time For The Extra

Image by Meredith Bernard

There are a lot of things I’ve accumulated in this life not worth the money I paid for them or the space they’ve taken up. Things I thought would make life more full, only to fill it with more clutter.

Then, there are things I’ve accumulated that are priceless. Things like childhood memories of trips to the mountains--sleeping under a camper shell on a piece of plywood in the back of my dad’s Chevy with my brother alongside. We’d stop on the side of a windy mountain road to dip our toes in a creek and skip from one big rock to another.

Thirty-some years later, I still remember the feeling of wild abandon and carefree joy those moments brought. Vacations were important to my parents. I always assumed I’d do the same with my own children.

Then I married a farmer.

My husband doesn’t stop, because the farm doesn’t stop. There is no hired man, only a farm wife and two farm kids. One season rolls into the next, and there never seems to be enough time to get everything done, much less, time for “extra.”

But if the extra doesn’t find time, our family suffers. So we’ve been trying to make the “extra” happen more often. And we’ve learned it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or even take a lot of time. One night away can build lifetime memories, and sometimes the best vacations can be “staycations.”

We have a creek on our farm much like the mountain streams I grew up loving. We load up old inner tubes and head there every chance we get during these dog days of August. Yep, it can be muddy and messy, but I wouldn’t trade those moments together, knowing the mess always works out in the wash.

One of the biggest lessons this farm and mom life has taught me is that being present in the present can be the best gift. I’m determined to be sure life doesn’t get too full of things that keep life from being full.

When not splashing in the creek, Meredith Bernard writes about farm life at her website ( and is active on Twitter


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