If you’ve watched HGTV at all, it seems that all of the world loves to entertain. Whether buying, selling, or renovating, the cute couple on TV inevitably declares their need for entertaining space galore because they do, in fact, love to entertain.

Well it’s summertime on the farm, and that means the visitor count is up around here as treasured friends and family come from far and wide for a little R&R. And while Cowboy (my better half) and I love to spend time with them, we are not what you would call natural born entertainers. We are homebodies and spend our days working around the farm on projects surrounded by our burgeoning cast of four-legged characters.

So as the dates approach for each impending visitor’s arrival,  I can lose my marbles a bit as I look to make a perfect experience for them.

The cleaning lists get out of control with things like baseboard washing, stall deodorizing, and tucking in fresh plants here and there to spruce things up. And bless Cowboy’s heart, he graciously goes along with my crazy as we work through lists of lists of lists.

And then there is the cooking and baking. In my head, a farm visit is just not complete without something scrumptious to eat, whether it is a night of divine enchiladas with Cowboy’s homemade salsa or a morning brunch of strawberry stuffed French toast.

The bottom line, I suddenly think we need to provide the Martha Stewart experience. The only problem is that Martha Stewart has a STAFF!  Cowboy and I just have a zoo of critters, and trust me they do not contribute to the cleaning one itty bitty bit.

But here’s what I’ve come to realize, our friends and family are not coming to give us the white glove test, to judge the color of the petunias, or have a taste testing event. They are coming to see us. To be enveloped in warm hugs. To laugh deep belly laughs. To drink in the country air. To sit a spell on the porch and watch the horses mosey by.

Like lots of things in life, it’s easy to put unrealistic expectations on yourself and those you love, searching for the perfect and forgetting the good that is right in front of you. It’s something I continue to remind myself of on a regular basis. How thankful are Cowboy and I that we get to live on our beautiful farm, and how special it is to share it with those we love?

So if you find yourself lucky enough this summer to have friends and family that want a little piece of your time, give it freely. Put the vacuum away, pour a cup of tea, find time to just revel in each other’s stories and in the moment.

Life is short, and when we look back, I can guarantee none of us will be wishing we had washed just one more baseboard.

Tammy Ammon is a Somervell County resident, blogger, farmgirl, wife, and mom to a gaggle of fur-kids. She shares her rarely graceful, sometimes challenging, and always hilarious farm life on her blog – myfarmtasticlife.com. Contact her via email at tammyammon@yahoo.com.