altSpring came into northwest Arkansas like a lion. Cold temperatures, several inches of rain and so much wind I wonder if part of Chicago has blown down this way. I haven’t even felt the urge to start planting anything.

Our family has been busy with school activities and winter chores. Not for long though. The Harris family is packing up to go on spring break next week.

Most families opt for beaches and sunshine over spring break. Not us. We are on the hunt for a mountain adventure while skiing the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Getting out of town for a family of six is no easy feat. A family of six with farm chores is a whole other challenge.

We are fortunate to have dependable friends and neighbors to help us out. As I sit in my office this week, I have created copious “to do” and “to pack” lists to help us get organized for this venture.

My husband and I have strategically filled up feed bins for the animals to make chores easy while we are gone. Hay bales are lined up ready to be fed to horses and cattle. The kids are bouncing off the walls at the idea of getting out of town for some fun.

Every day this week, my oldest child (also known as my husband) has asked if we could just leave early. Nobody loves the slopes as much as that guy. Between the flu, strep throat and a few dance competitions this semester, there is no way I am letting the kids miss any extra school days.

It’s about a 12-hour drive. I have stocked up on junk food and some good audio books from the Fayetteville Public Library to make the road trip pass by quickly. We are fortunate to be able to travel with some other local families who will make the trip that much more special.

As we travel out of state, I look forward to the new friends and experiences we’ll have along the way. We look forward to our kids’ reaction when we pass by implement dealerships and farms along the journey. Western Kansas never fails to impress us with feed yards and big tractors. It’s a privilege to experience another state’s beauty and agriculture. What an amazing country this is.

By the time we make it to Colorado the magnitude of the beautiful Rockies will draw each one of us in. The three oldest kids and my husband ski very well. They will likely leave our youngest son and I in a puff of snowflakes next week. It’s amazing how quickly our children have learned to love ski adventures.

We always have our eyes open for Colorado wildlife too! We hope to encounter a moose or elk along our journey (from a great distance of course). It’s always amazing to see creatures in their natural environment.

When we return home to Arkansas, we’ll be glad to be here. As much as I look forward to traveling and adventure, there is no place like home, neighbor.

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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