Great Debate Take a Side
Down on the Farm?
Did The Wife grow up on a farm?
Read each side of the story and decide for yourself.
He Said: She’s a Farm Girl
I am excited to finally really get into the He Said, She Said so we can have a good debate. I know my wife has a bunch of loyal followers, but after I present my facts, you will likely fall into my support camp. One of the longstanding arguments we’ve had is whether or not she comes from a farm/farming family. This started when I met her and found out she was from Oregon (pronounced “oar-uh-gawn”). She said she was from a fairly large city and that it wasn’t a farm and that she wasn’t from a farming community or family. After her description of Corvallis, I had to admit that it might be a stretch to say that she was from a farm, but it was pretty close.
A few months later, I found out that she also used to live in Michigan. As she described the environment, it sounded more and more like a farm. I once again raised the possibility that she is from a farm. She again denied it. Over the next several years I collected facts and pictures to support my argument. I will now present them for your review and consideration. She has vowed to discount my arguments, but I guarantee that her defense will be weak and futile.
Some of you from farms might be offended that I am degrading her for being from a farm and that she is trying to say she is not from a farm. Don’t be too upset. Just be happy that you actually figured out how to get onto the Internet and go have some flapjacks and a glass of goat’s milk.
- There were multiple acres of property
- There was a barn on the property
- There was an orchard on the property
- Crops (both vegetables and fruits) were grown
- Livestock lived on the farm (mainly horses)
- There was a stable on the property
- The family bailed hay (thanks to Roger for letting me know about this)
- Their next neighbor was miles away
- As a child, she operated a tractor.
- The family woke up at or before 5am every morning
- There are 10 kids in the family
- There are many photos of the family in overalls
After documenting the facts, I wonder how on earth my wife can make a claim that she is not from a farm. Some points are stronger than others, but you must consider the facts in their entirety. I will stop here and won’t mention anything about Oregon since I have provided more than enough information on the matter. You be the judge. If you are impartial, you will find my wife guilty of living on a farm and all of the shame associated with that. Let the facts speak for themselves.
She Said: A Little Land does not a Farm Make
Let me explain a little more about how the debate started. When we were missionaries, Chris was always making remarks about me being from a farm. This was based on his perception that anyone living west of New Jersey must be a hick. He was always telling people that I grew up on a farm or that my great-great-grandfather invented the spur–anything to get people to listen to him and laugh at me (his purpose for living). Later, when his family first met me, he continually called me a farm girl from Oregon (which he still refuses to pronounce correctly). About 6 months after we got married, I was shocked when one of his brothers asked me a question about my farm; I thought they had realized this had all been a joke. The debate was now on. My main argument went something like this: “My Dad is a computer guy and we didn’t live on a farm.” Chris had nothing to stand on, other than statements like, “you guys, trust me: she not only grew up on a farm, she is a champion log-roller.”
Admittedly, the debate got more interesting when Chris found out about the Michigan house. When Chris and I lived in Provo, back in our carefree days (before children) we hung out with Roger and Chelsea a lot, playing Mario Kart or Password (remind me to tell you a truly great story later) and gabbing late into the night. One night Roger and I were reminiscing about our house in Michigan, and Chris’s curiosity was piqued. (Those who know Chris can imagine the way his face lights up whenever he gets new information he can use to further torment someone.)
I will now state my main argument: We simply were not farmers. If someone asked where I lived, I would say, “In the white house on Baldwin Street, across from the golf course.” And they would say, “Oh, you mean that big white house on the hill?” Nobody ever said, “Oh, you live on that farm?” What’s more, people (who knew where I lived) always asked me what my dad did for a living. I would say that he was a computer-engineer-manager-guy at some place that made conveyor belts. That may not have been his exact job title, but it certainly wasn’t “farmer.” This should be enough to convince anyone that I did not “come from a farm/farming family,” but I will gladly respond to Chris’s other points: (His claims are in italics, followed by my responses)
- There were multiple acres of property. I’m not sure how many acres we had, but it was not a lot (Dad?). If multiple acres makes a farm, then I guess the term “Beverly Hillbillies” can be applied to a lot of Hollywood actors.
- There was a barn on the property. This is true. But, putting a barn on a plot does not make it a farm.
- There was an orchard on the property. We planted a handful of fruit trees, from which we never picked much fruit (they were still young when we moved away).
- Crops (both vegetables and fruits) were grown. I imagine Chris is referring to a small family garden on a 2×10 foot strip of dirt. We maybe planted it one year, and it was not very successful.
- Livestock lived on the farm (mainly horses). We did board horses. This means a couple people rented the use of our barn and some grazing area for their horses. We had nothing to do with caring for these animals. Aside from a few fish and parakeets (which were, in fact, ours) the 2 horses were the only animals on our property.
- There was a stable on the property. I’m not sure how this argument differs from Chris’s earlier claim of there being a barn on the property. There is likely a difference between a barn and a stable, but I wouldn’t know since I’m not from a farm.
- The family bailed hay. We had tall grass. I remember it was really great for stomping down to make forts and mazes. Sadly, one year we paid some people to come and cut it down. They did, in fact, pack it into bails.
- Their next neighbor was miles away. Sorry, Chris. There was a house just in front of ours, a fraction of a mile down the hill, in perfect view. I remember hearing music from their radio and drooling over their pool, wishing they had kids that could invite us over to swim.
- As a child, she operated a tractor. I drove a riding-lawn-mower to mow the lawn.
- The family woke up at or before 5 am every morning. It was 5:30 am, for early morning seminary–something Chris also did.
- There are 10 kids in the family. True. There are 11 in Chris’s family.
- There are many photos of the family in overalls. Untrue. I never owned a pair of overalls–even when they were popular. (Remember how people would leave one hook open, hanging down, New Kids on the Block-style? I always wanted to do that, but this was yet another fad that I missed out on.)
So, that’s it. Were there some farm-like elements?–Maybe. But, by no stretch of the imagination were we considered to be living on a farm or a farm family. No, that was my neighbor down the street… She had cows, a barn, and even a silo. I remember giving her a ride home one day. We had picked up a pizza, so the van was thick with the smell of hot crust, melted cheese, and pepperoni. She stepped out of the van, took a big sniff of her property (infamous for its manure stench) and said, “Ah, fresh air at last.” Now that’s a farm girl.
Now that you’ve heard both sides, be sure to cast your vote in our poll (The poll is now closed. Click here to see the results of the poll).
Be sure to check out the comments, where the debate raged on…