Somebody In Farmville Loves Me

I don’t mean to brag, but I have some pretty serious connections to the real-life town of Farmville (VA). I’m talking about a town that is so awesome it had a Facebook game named after it (leaving only the towns “Cityville” and “DiamondDash” on my list of Facebook-based towns to live in).

My wife and I were driving to the bustling burg of Farmville yesterday to visit her family and play in a festival, and as we were driving it hit me just how much of an impact this town-not-the-Facebook-game has had on my life. For instance…

I had my first post-high school worship leading experience in Farmville. In my freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to lead worship for a contemporary service at a rural Baptist church, where I learned that a) I didn’t know everything about church like I’d thought I did, and b) people can actually love Jesus AND sit in pews and sing out of hymnals. This blew my mind. (As a side note, I actually was led to this rural church by the guy who pastors the Church where I now serve. That’s right, THE Rob Shep Dot Com also found some roots in Farmville.)

Farmville was also the town where I learned how to work. I thought I worked hard before Farmville. In high school, I worked at a Subway, a car wash, and spent a summer working construction. But I learned there’s a difference between car wash hard work, and beef farm hard work. Tommy, the farmer I worked for in Farmville, taught me that you’re not hurt if you’re not bleeding… and if you are, there’s a roll of duck tape in the truck bed.

It was here where I learned how to drive a skid-steer, corral livestock, and clean a hog house. It was also here where I came back to Christ after a couple years of searching, and where I found my way back into church ministry.

My mother in-law bought me this shirt... And if you're reading this, Kathy, I wear it ALL THE TIME!

But above all that, the thing that changed my life the most about the real-life town of Farmville was Brooke. When I wandered into a worship service at Riverside Community Church one fateful Sunday, I knew instantly that the woman standing on stage singing some soulful worship song would one day be my wife. I didn’t know her name quite yet, but I made it my goal to learn it ASAP.

This girl WAS Farmville. She was bold and unpretentious, but as sweet and bubbly as southern charm gets. She was hard-working. She was classically beautiful in an age of synthetic glamour. She was eclectic, diverse, and a breath of fresh air.

So thank you, Farmville, for the life lessons- for giving me a start and a restart, for my wife, and for the way you’ve changed me that I won’t ever be able to forget. I owe you. Oh, and thanks for the multiple hundreds of Facebook notifications you’ve given me from friends who’ve invited me to water their fake crops. I appreciate that too.

What’s the funnest named town that you’ve ever lived in?

  • Ricky Anderson

    I’ve lived in Phoenix and Albuquerque. I’ll let you decide which one is funniest.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Albuquerque is a great name. Makes me think of saloons and John Wayne, not sure if that is an accurate depiction or not.

      • Ricky Anderson

        If you think that sounds cool, then we’ll pretend it’s accurate!

        • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

          Cool. I figured it was probably right on the money, but thought I’d be cautious.

          • http://randomlychad.com Chad Jones

            The Navajo for Phoenix is, I’m told, “Hoozdo,” meaning “the place is hot.” Indians are smart.

  • Phil

    FarmVille certainly has been good to you.

    I’ve lived in the same place for almost my whole life, but I did live in Juneau Alaska for a brief period. I liked that name

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Juneau is quite fun. It’s a city AND a movie (Juno).

  • http://undistractedchristian.com/ Tyler Hess

    I lived in Kapa’a, which is fun to say, plus it is on Kaua’i Hawai’i, which are also fun to say, plus it was on a freaking island so it was a better place to live.

    • Ricky Anderson

      How long did you live in
      Kaua’i? My wife and visited there a couple years ago and absolutely loved it. I was amazed at how friendly everyone was and how non-touristy it felt.

      • http://undistractedchristian.com/ Tyler Hess

        we were there for just six months, from september 2010 to march 2011. you didn’t feel it was very touristy because you were a tourist, you didn’t have tourists get in your way when you were trying to get to work haha :)

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I want to go to there. Were your parents missionaries? Military? Professional surfers?

      • http://undistractedchristian.com/ Tyler Hess

        actually i lived there just a couple years ago with my wife…my surfing skills are not attractive

  • http://www.facebook.com/cliff.dunaway Cliff Dunaway

    I lived in Snellville, Ga. Pronounced “Snail-ville” by most, but I lived to say it like “snivel”

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      :) Nice. I bet the roads got real congested in “snail-ville”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mollie.m.miller.39 Mollie Manis Miller

    Holy cow, you described Brooke perfectly…and really made me miss her :(….SO glad you both will be in the Hampton Roads now!!!

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      You and your fam not coming to the Outdoor Festivus?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rkcartwright Robert Keith Cartwright

    I lived a couple of years in Deer Lodge TN. For so many reasons, the name grew more appropriate every day.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Sounds like a cool town to me, Keith. So- lot of deer? The place grew “dear” to you? John Deere Country?

  • http://www.ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman

    In the US we lived an equal distance from Possum Kingdom and Pumpkintown. I lived in Travelers Rest just over the state line from Bat Cave, NC.

    In Paraguay we lived in Arazaty’ (ahrahza too) Filled with guava. WE moved to Carapegua- Land of Dwarves or little people.

    The more your ask questions the more I realize my life is truly bizarre. Thanks for that, I guess.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I would pass on the possums and head straight for the pumpkins. I imagine Halloween was a hit around those parts! And I like bizarre lives- probably why we’re friends.

  • http://thepastorworeplaid.blogspot.com/ bruce crews

    I live 5 minutes from Horneytown, NC. Enough said.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      So- just lots of horns, I would guess? Trombones, and what not? ;)

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    Guess who has two thumbs and has never played Farmville (or any other facebook game)?
    This guy.

    Serious question – has any of their tourism increased in the past few years? I wonder if souvenirs do better now.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I don’t have any official stats, but shirts like the one pictured above seem to be getting more and more popular in my wife’s hometown. So at least the souvenir shops owe a little gratitude to good old Facebook Farmville.

  • http://livingthestory.me/ Thomas Mason

    I think I was accepted into Longwood and was close to attending there, but alas, it was not mean to be.

    The one thing I dislike about Farmville, no offense, is the lack of radio signals or soundwaves or whatever is lacking there when driving on 460 on the way to civilization (Richmond) to visit my wife’s parents!

    Of course, Roanoke is kind of funny sounding (at least to people not familiar with the commonwealth). Recently someone I was talking to on the phone pronounced it RO-NO-KEE! Ah, not quite!

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      That’s too funny about the ro-no-kee. :) And small world re: Longwood. It’s a great place once you get over the lack of radio frequencies.

  • http://dancarman.blogspot.com/ Daniel Carman

    Sweet tribute Stephen. Good stuff.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Thank you much, kind sir.

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    Mosheim, TN

  • http://www.endlessimpact.com jasonS

    That’s awesome. I hate Farmville on Facebook, but the real place sounds tremendous. :) I don’t really have any interesting place-names that I’ve lived. I’ll have to work on that.

  • http://dbartosik.com/ David Bartosik

    Prishtine Kosova- good times :)

  • http://randomlychad.com Chad Jones

    I’ve lived in:

    Avonia–despite its pretentious name, it’s a small, economically-depressed lakeside suburb of Erie, PA.

    We moved to Fairview, also a suburb of Erie, and it lived up to its name: the view was fair to middling.

    Erie–like it’s name, it was: cold in the winter, skies grey all year round. It was eerie.

    New Castle, PA. Nope, never even found the old castle–let alone the new one.

    Scottsdale, AZ–colloquially known as “Snottsdale” due to its high population of nouveau riche. I drove a banana yellow Chrysler Cordoba to a public high school that saw kids showing up in BMWs, Corvettes, Mercedes, etc.

    Now I live in Phoenix. It rises from the ashes of the summer heat every winter–when the snow birds show up.
    ;-)

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