AMY KIRK: Farmers and ranchers are no-fuss vacationersHaving people over for a visit can feel like hosting company, unless the guests are like the easy-to-please farmer or rancher types.
By: Amy Kirk, The Daily Republic
Having people over for a visit can feel like hosting company, unless the guests are like the easy-to-please farmer or rancher types.
They don’t care how meager or non-conducive our home is for hosting company. Beer covers a multitude of shortcomings. Such things virtually go unnoticed by these humble visitors if we offer them a beer when they arrive. Extreme efforts made to impress these particular vacationers are an unnecessary use of time and shouldn’t be wasted on people who have higher expectations either, such as family.
What impresses these guests the most is being offered can koozies to put their beer in. Furthermore, they’re genuinely appreciative of our generous hospitality of an invitation to stay for lunch or supper. These are the kinds of visitors I can get away with serving our family’s leftovers, and it will still be praised. They are dually gratified because drinking beer on a hot summer day makes people hungry.
All that’s necessary to prepare for the arrival of guests who come from farms or ranches is stocking up on beer and making sure there’s extra toilet paper in the bathroom. If we have those available when these kinds of guests show up, they’ll be thirst-quenched and relieved.
They also enjoy and appreciate any sightseeing we provide. They love getting to see the view from our home, where our baler is stored, what our barn looks like inside, the kind of equipment we use, what we have hanging on our shop walls and rafters, our corrals, hay pile, pastures, water sources, livestock, and our beer cooler after the tour.
We don’t take them to the local tourist traps because that’s an activity we save for special guests we don’t want to come back and visit, at least while we are still alive. The only type of company interested in seeing such attractions are people with high expectations, which include spending the equivalent of their 401k in fuel, admission fees, gift shop knickknacks, souvenirs, jackalopes, and eating out; thus, the reason such places are called torturous punishment by locals.
The highlight of any farmer’s or rancher’s vacation is learning about different farming and ranching practices from like-minded people who enjoy carrying on lengthy conversations about equipment and livestock stories that bore kids to death. Other highlights include having these conversations with beer. Farmers and ranchers have no expectations while on vacation. Their standards are low — just a glimpse of how people farm or ranch in other parts of the country is satisfactory to them.
They’re the type of people who admire items in our junk yard, our less-than-tidy shop, and our old farm house. They’re perfectly content relaxing in our yard sitting around having in-depth discussions on grazing practices, distiller grains, and other feedstuffs.
It’s not hard to satisfy guests who farm or ranch for a living because their main vacation objective is leaving home. Whatever you do for these particular guests, they’re genuinely grateful they aren’t taking care of chores back home instead. The ultimate vacation experience for them is feeling relaxed and right at home in a new place surrounded by things that remind them of home.
We avoid tourist traps as much as possible by keeping company that likes leftovers.
Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant. areavoices.com.