Farm Life in Rural Nebraska

Learn about one young family's experiences as they trade big careers in the city for life on a Nebraska farm.

| January/February 1982

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    The Waggoner family loves life on the farm named Genesis 1:29. 

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I truly appreciate the songs of the seashore, the majesty of the mountains and the meditative peace of the deep forests. But, no matter where I've traveled, my soul has always longed for my birthplace in the heartland of the Great Plains: Nebraska, home of the good life.

I grew up in a village of fewer than 100 people, cats and dogs. Many good memories sprang from my childhood in that country community. At the age of 18, however, I was only too glad to trade rural life for anything that might offer more excitement than racing the roosters to the roost. So, away I went to the bright city lights.

A Country Boy Living in the City

For a while it seemed that the urban environment fit me like a Brooks Brothers' suit. At age 20, I married the prettiest city lady a man could want. We settled down in a fancy five-room, bath-and-a-half apartment and proceeded to aim our careers upward!

Deanie was involved in banking. I turned my talents to advertising and we were both into fast foods, fast crowds, fast spending and constant changes. The situation might have gone from bad to worse, too, if it hadn't been for the inevitable question that comes up frequently between a man and a woman who love each other: When are we going to have a baby?

Well, I had responded to that urge on previous occasions by bringing home a kitten, a puppy, a parakeet, some tropical fish and two gerbils. The trouble was that, once out of their infancy, none of the critters needed much parenting. But, they did require space, a rapidly dwindling commodity in our apartment (not to mention the fact that our menagerie inspired landlords to stick us with damage deposits resembling the national debt).

Fortunately, Deanie and I agreed that our city lifestyle was not ideal for rearing a family, so we began searching for a better way (and room for a bigger zoo). As fate would have it, that very Christmas we received a gift subscription to MOTHER EARTH NEWS — and you'd better believe that the message was loud and clear. In fact, visions of a self-sufficient farm soon began to dance in my head.

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