Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Good Life

There's a reason that Nebraska's motto is "The Good Life." I grew up with wide, open spaces, beautiful blue skies, prairie grass blowing in the wind, and the sound of coyotes howling at night. Our family farm started with my great-grandfather, Pietro Amateis, when he and his wife, Domenica, came over from Italy in 1908. My brother is now the fourth generation to farm it, and I have no doubt that his son will take over the operation someday (unless he grows up to play professional football or baseball, which is highly likely!).

This is the farmhouse. It originally started out fairly small, but has expanded with each generation. I remember my parents actually put in a new basement, and also added on a new porch, office, a remodeled bathroom, laundry room, and a redwood deck. A few years later they put in new windows. My brother and his wife have already done some remodeling and are planning to do some more in the coming months, so who knows what it will look like in a few years?

This is the view looking out the front window of the house. Isn't the sky gorgeous? We had a thunderstorm rolling in that day and the horizon looked absolutely amazing. And with any farm, you've got to have farm equipment, thus the two tractors, both used for different purposes. (Oh, and you also need a swing set!)

And to the right of the farmhouse, not more than 100 feet away, are the corrals. And what do we have in those corrals? Why, cows, of course! And since calving season is almost done, there are lots of baby calves to look at. These cows are the new mamas, cows that are having their very first calf, and thus get the priviledge of being close to the house so my brother can keep an eye on them.

The rest of the cows are out in the corn stalks, eating and having a merry ol' time.

(I told her to smile for the camera, but she didn't look too pleased with me.)

And of course, the modern farmer doesn't always use horses to herd the cows. Thus, there are two options below:

The ever-popular "farm truck" which is never clean, always full of shovels or irrigation tubes, and barbed wire for fixing fence. Every farm needs one.

And, of course, the four-wheeler. When I was growing up, we had a three-wheeler. But it turns out those things weren't so safe (as my little brother proved a few times) and they liked to tip easily. Still, I raced around the farm many, many hours on that three-wheeler.

And of course, what farm would be complete without a farm cat?

Ah, yes. The good life. I go to the farm to relax and rest and find peace. I can only stay so long, however, because the energy of the city calls me back. But when I want to go home, I go here.


  1. Lovely pics. Thanks for sharing. It looks the perfect place for peace and relaxation. Wonderful!

  2. Hi, Melissa

    Thanks for sharing those wonderful photographs. They're awesome. A lot of people don't know how beautiful Nebraska is once you get off of I-80. Maybe that's a good thing so it can be more exclusive. I miss the beauty and simplicity of life in the Sandhills. May you always be able to go back to farm country and escape whenever you need to get out of the city.

  3. Shirley - thanks! Yes, you can definitely relax here (unless my brother puts you to work!).

    Diana - So, so true. There is a lot of beauty in Nebraska once you get off I-80. Northwest Nebraska is just one example - there's actually *gasp!* a forest there! Not what you think of when you think of Nebraska.

  4. You know what would make it more perfect? If there was a Jimmy Stewart marthon on t.v.

  5. Great pics, Melissa :) Thanks for the tour of the family farm!! Love the one of your daughter with the cat. And the cows!

  6. Rene, make it a Dana Andrews marathon and THEN it would be perfect. ;-)

    Tess - Thanks! It was fun to do.:-)


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