On our franch, there is a small cabin only about 25 feet away from our back patio. I really needed it to be a ranch hand house. But, I can’t afford a ranch hand. So, it has become a guesthouse for my in-laws and parents. This year, they both let us know that they were planning extended stays with us. So, I came up with a perfect plan. They could be my part-time ranch hands. This would work well for two reasons. First, extra franch chores that would take our family weeks to complete would be accomplished sooner. And second, I figured posting a long list of chores on the door of their guesthouse would eventually exhaust them, keeping their stay to a reasonable length. Apparently, life’s too good on the franch. One month ago, my in-laws arrived. And, they’re still here. During this visit, it seemed the more they lived each day on the franch, the more they wanted to stay. And I couldn’t tire them out…they helped our children show chickens at the junior livestock show, helped butcher a second batch of chickens, helped prepare delicious meals from our garden harvests and with our homegrown chicken and lamb, assisted in training our border collie, cleaned out the barn, and delivered our goat to a fellow rancher to breed with his buck. And, my father-in-law was even upset with us that we didn’t have a goat milking – he said he was looking forward to spending hours milking and making goat cheese! Well, I am very blessed to have wonderful in-laws, but you all know what’s it’s like to have guests for after just three days. And, it’s been a month! Ironically, it was my father-in-law who first told me years ago the old truism found in Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac, “Fish and visitors stink after three days.” The idea is that fish left out start to stink, and so do visitors who keep prolonging a visit. My in-laws promise they’re leaving on Tuesday, but I’ll believe it when I see their taillights at the end of our driveway. I get why it’s hard to leave. I agree, life’s good on the franch. I’m ready for them to go. But, the catch-22 of family visits is that I know as soon as the gate closes behind them, I’ll miss them. This past month, life has been especially good on the franch.
*Note: I received permission from my in-laws to write about them in this way! Thankfully, they have a sense of humor. And they agreed with a smile, “Life’s too good on the franch.”