Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 13th

April 13th……..“SAY, GRANDPA, DID YOU EVER KNOW AN AMERICAN SOLDIER FROM WORLD WAR ONE?  WHAT DID HE DO DURING THE GREAT WAR”?

A loud succession of domino-like, “clankety-clang” sounds emanated from the iron couplers on the long line of Pullman Coach railroad cars.  They, in turn, were being obedient to the massive, steam-engine locomotives that yanked them forward from the loading platform at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.  Beautiful and 17 years young, Lizzie, accompanied by her future mother-in-law, were fervently giving hugs and their “God Bless You” to tall, lanky, blue-eyed John P. Madsen.  That late summer day of 1917 was a momentous event for this young patriot with Danish blood in his veins.   While Lizzie and Mrs. Madsen honored John, even John’s hometown of Ringsted, Iowa honored her ancestral elders by holding forth the same title of recognition from their original town in Denmark by the same name.  Obviously, many a good Dane had come to America to help farm the fecund black soils of that handsome new land they all called home.  A good man who loved life and his nation, young John had answered the call to serve “Uncle Sam” in any way possible during that current global conflict known today as World War I (One).  Rather than carry a rifle, though, John and up to 28,000 others would carry a different tool of war to defeat Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm and the German Army.

With a piercing screech of the steam whistle from that “Iron Horse” locomotive, John, heeding his sergeant’s growl, blew a kiss to his mother and fiancé as he hopped aboard that west-bound troop train.  With his duffel bag stowed nearby, John gingerly made his way down the pulsating aisle of their Pullman Coach car and managed to snuggle his long legs, the best he could, into a window seat to take in the view of his first time adventure going west.  A journey of this length was going to encompass at least three days, or more, so it was best to make the best of it and relax. The never-ending expanses of prairie land passing by, coupled with the consistent “clickety-clack, clickety-clack” of the railroad tracks beneath him, caused John’s eyelids to become heavier and heavier until he crossed the threshold to dreamland with his Army-issued campaign hat pulled down over his face.

After crossing the mighty Rocky Mountains, John Madsen’s eyes were still like wide saucers in sheer awe of the immense majesty of those mountain peaks that scratched the very skies above them and tickled the bellies of the clouds that dared to drift too low to earth.

John was lonely for his beloved mother and fiancé back home. Letters were his way of staying in touch.

Cruising now, down the windward slopes of the Rockies, the rugged terrain slipping by the train soon turned into the marvel of a conjuncture with the powerful Columbia River of Washington State.  Peering from his window seat, our young Army Private could’ve spit right into that roiling river; they were that close as the iron rails before them bent and curved round each bend of that impressive river whose waters were heading west, also.

The multiple day journey of John’s troop train made the young Danish-American that much more lonely for his darling mother and his bride-to-be that he had left on that railroad platform at Fort Snelling. That tender-hearted young soldier couldn’t wait to be billeted upon arrival at Vancouver Barracks near Fort Vancouver, Washington so he could get off his first of many letters back home.

The wide Columbia River, in the distance, ambles by the gigantic, and world’s largest Spruce Sawmill in Vancouver, Washington.

By this time, in his rail journey, the handsome Columbia River, that divided the states of Oregon and Washington, had become like a friend to John and his fellow “doughboys”. Even the train, itself, seemed to be struck by the awe of what they saw next as the revolutions per minute of the steam engine’s wheels began to slow as they arrived onto the scene of the largest spruce wood sawmill in the world.

United States Army Colonel Brice P. Disque who commanded Vancouver Barrack’s Spruce Production Division.

Within sight of this immense sawmill campus were the sparkling blue waters of that same Columbia River that John had enjoyed from his train window. The winking waves of the river, flowing past towards the Pacific Ocean, seemed to say, “Well, “doughboy”, you’ve got your work cut out for you now”!!

The elegantly attired Army Colonel Brice P. Disque convened an assembly of these robust young Americans to share with them what their weapons of valor would be as they employed them to defeat the Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm and his German Army. Holding a large trumpet-like megaphone, and in a booming voice, the Colonel exclaimed, “Men, your weapons, in this Great War, will not be rifles, but saws, sledgehammers, axes, and the like”!!!! “Engineers have found that Sitka Spruce, which fills the hills of these Pacific Northwest forests, is ideal for building not only our American military aircraft, but also for our allies of Britain, France and Italy”!!!

From that day on, John, and his fellow Army pals became loggers, truck drivers, mill workers, etc. and were affectionately called, “The Straight-Grained Soldiers”.

Sitka Spruce was known for its being a light wood, straight in its grain (which made it very strong) and, its ability to not splinter when struck by bullets. From this resilient wood source were made our American Curtiss “Jenny” aircraft, the British Sopwith Camel fighter aircraft, the French Spad fighter aircraft and others. Under the leadership of Colonel Disque, The Spruce Production Division exceeded their production goals and produced 143 million board feet of spruce for airplane manufacturing.

It’s time for a hearty meal for the soldiers in 1918. No one knows for sure, but the second young soldier on the left has a resemblance, at least, of the John P. Madsen of this story.

All work and no play made for pretty dull “doughboys” while working in the military employ of “Uncle Sam”. A tent-city sprang up around the Spruce Mill and some of those tents were used for feeding the hungry mouths of thousands of young men who gave their all in the forests and wood mill each day. Baseball teams were organized for fun during off-duty hours and even musical gatherings became a fun way to while away the evening hours or off-duty times. The Headquarters Office for Colonel Disque and staff were located across the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon with logging and mill sites scattered throughout Oregon and Washington.

Little sister, Candice, Elliott, “Joker” the Shetland pony and dear John P. Madsen smile for the camera on their farm northwest of Kiester, Minnesota in the early October of 1961.

The day after the Armistice was signed, on November 11th, 1918, all wood mill production ceased and young John Madsen was among the thousands of young “straight-grained soldiers” that were soon heading home. Marriage ensued for John and Lizzie with a family of five children blessing their lives. The Madsens lost their little son, Walter, at the young age of four years in 1928 and then John lost his beloved Lizzie who was taken in death in 1946. Fast forward to the late 1940’s and early 1950’s when John, via our family friend, Harry Bauman, came to work on our Noorlun farm as a hired hand for our daddy, Russell. Those tender, Danish blue eyes of his were now weakened with age and John had to wear super-thick “coke bottle bottom” glasses to make his way around in daily life. Yet, those long, lanky legs, that had carried him around the Spruce Mill, in his Army days, still made him a giant in our lives. And you know, his being a giant wasn’t merely from his physical height……….it was his ever grateful, ever inspiring and ever positive view of relishing each day of life God gave him (from 1892 until 1978) that touched the life and soul of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 12th

April 12th………..“PLEASE TELL US, GRANDPA, HOW DID YOUR MOTHER, CLARICE, WASH CLOTHES AND DRY THEM DURING YOUR YOUNG FARM DAYS IN MINNESOTA”?

POEM – “Laughing Laundry” by N. Elliott Noorlun

Daddy’s longjohns waved at me,

Upon that stiff Spring breeze.

His bib overalls, Were dancing alongside,

Exposing their worn out knees.

The air was chilled, Yet Spring had spilled,

Across our farming world,

With orchard abloom, There now was room,

To make our family clothes unfurled.

Mom’s “unmentionables” were shy, As they’d fly up high,

They’d blush trying to hide behind a cloud.

Her “private affairs”, Were now posted upstairs,

On that clothesline so public and “loud”.

There was something sublime, To our farm life and time,

Prairie winds made our clothesline “come alive”.

To all passersby, Neighbor farm gal or guy,

Were clothes-signs that our family did thrive.

In our mom’s cleaning day, A wringer washer held sway,

When it came to scrubbing our clothes.

But you had to watch out, Or you might hear Mom shout,

When she and machine came to blows.

Grandma Amanda fared worse, In pre-electric curse,

When wet clothes had to go through crank ringer.

For some body parts, Learned the hard way with “SMARTS”!!!

That in one wrong hand crank came a “ZINGER”!!! :-O

Look to the upper right and you can see Elliott’s “Laughing Laundry” drying in the wind of their farm home near Kiester, Minnesota.

So from handkerchief giggles, To wet washcloth wiggles,

Our laughing laundry could gladly rejoice.

To have danced on the air, Of that Spring wind so fair,

As our ears heard each sweet fabric “voice”!

Weather can change in a hurry as a farm wife runs outside to gather her laundry in off the clothesline before a thunder storm comes overhead.

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 11th

April 11th…..“BEING NORWEGIAN, GRANDPA, WAS THERE A SPECIAL TREAT THAT YOU ENJOYED THAT CAME FROM YOUR ANCIENT MOTHERLAND OF NORWAY?”

SONG – “Yust A Little Lefse” The author of these fun lyrics is unknown. For the younger generation tuning in to this……….these lyrics reflect how a first or even second generation Norwegian person tried to speak English. I sweetly recall my Norwegian grandparents had a distinct “flavor” to their English because their native Norwegian language was still very much a part of them.

Our sweet Norwegian mother, Clarice, found this cute item and took this to her Senior Citizen Church Group at Bethel Lutheran Church in Brush Prairie, Washington. The group called themselves, “The Keenagers” and on December 14th of 1995, they all had some fun singing this song. You can, too…..it is sung to the 1948 tune, “Just A Little Lovin’ (Will Go A Long Way)…..written by Eddy Arnold and Zeke Clements. A great audio clip of this song can be found on YouTube. Enjoy!!! 😉

CHORUS: Yust a leetle lefse, Vill go a long vayyy,

Gives yew indeeyestion, Most all of dah day.

Poot it on yer menu, Yew’ll be sure tew say,

Yust a leetle lefse, Vill go a long vayyyyy!

VERSE: Lefse’s good for many tings, Und vee can gif yew proof,

Fer tiling on dah kitchen floor, Or patching up dah roof.

Peeple sometimes use it as, Dah soles upon dair feet,

And some folks tink, It’s even good tew eat!!

CHORUS: Sing it again, ya? 😉

VERSE: Leif Erikson vunce had a boat, It vas a leaky scow,

He said, “Tew beat Columbus, Vee yust gotta leave right now”!!

Dah boat vahs leaking badly as, Dey neared dah U.S.A.

But he plugged dah holes, Yay lefse saved dah dayyyyyy!!

CHORUS: again, ya? Yew know dah rootine by now!

VERSE: If yew know vat lefse is, Den yew can understood,

It looks und feels like plastic, Und it tastes yust like plyvood.

Vee don’t know vat invented it, Vee don’t know hew’s tew blame,

But if yew’re Norsk, Yew eat it yust dah same!!!

CHORUS: Vun more time, humma dinger!!! Und den yew can schtop!!! 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 10th

April 10th……….“WAS THERE EVER AN ITEM FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD HOMETOWN IN MINNESOTA THAT CAME BACK INTO YOUR LIFE LATER ON?”

POEM – “The Rove Of Mr. Clove” by N. Elliott Noorlun

Elliott’s brother, Lowell, found this in an antique store over 80 miles from Kiester, Minnesota.

I ponder as to when, My little glass friend,

That you had decided to rove,

From Paulson Drugs and Kiester,

A tiny bottle we’ll call, “Mr. Clove”.

This is where “Mr. Clove” first lived, which was at Paulson Rexall Drug Store on Main Street in Kiester, Minnesota. Just think of the wonderful ways Mr. Paulson put clove oil to use in helping folks to heal.

In days gone by, Mr. Paulson, great guy,

Would pull you down from his shelf,

To ease someone’s pain, With their good health to gain,

You were a popular pixie elf.

From an advertisement in the 1963 “Rambler” Yearbook, our very respected pharmacist, Mr. Paulson, creates something to aid one of our town folk.

You sat there with pride,

Of an assortment quite wide,

With other bottles of medicinal elixir.

Should farm lady come in,

With a wart on her chin,

In a minute came the potion to fix ‘er!! 😉

What’s comical in this graphic is item #4. I don’t think anyone wants to reLIVE stress; they want to relieve stress!! 😉 hehehe!!

Someone, “Mr. Clove”, must’ve needed your power,

To help them through their ailing hour,

Because you left “Paulson’s”, And traveled for miles,

Maybe toothache had turned someone sour?

Languishing away on a dusty antique store shelf, “Mr. Clove” must’ve been lonely for the good old days in Kiester.

Whether pocket, or purse, Or suitcase of nurse,

You traveled a journey so far,

To Mantorville town, Quiet place of reknown,

Did you hitchhike and ride someone’s car?

Lost in a plethora of knick-knacks n paddy-whacks, “Mr. Clove” no longer shined important as he had in the medicinal arsenal of Mr. Paulson.

There you sat on a shelf, Not quite feeling yourself,

That cluttered antique store now home.

Among all that junk, You were feeling a funk,

Cause you’re now just a lost little gnome.

Do you think “Mr. Clove” rejoiced to see another “face”, in the form of Elliott’s brother, from his old hometown?

But through your glass eyes, You saw a surprise,

A face from your old hometown.

He recognized you, And saw you were blue,

So he bought you to erase your frown.

Elliott was given the gift of “Mr. Clove” by his brother, Lowell. Now Elliott mixes memories with each whiff of the still viable clove oil inside.

Now you once again live, On a home shelf to give,

Out the fragrance you still have inside.

“Mr. Clove’s” back among friends, With the fragrance he lends,

Brings back memories of life giving pride!! 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 9th

April 9th……..”GRANDPA, HOW DID OUR GREAT GRANDMA CLARICE FIX CLOTHING ON YOUR FARM IN YOUR YOUNG DAYS IN MINNESOTA”?

Like a rocket out of a big yellow bazooka, my little boy body took a leap of joy off of Marie Meyer’s school bus that afternoon. I loved our bus driver Marie, don’t get me wrong, it was just me exuding my exuberant thrill of having finished, unscathed, another rigorous day in the halls of my Grade School education. Now, my farm boy freedom was about to erupt in abundance!!! Even the sad cooing of Mourning Doves in my ears, that I heard up in our windbreak of trees, couldn’t suppress the boundless boy joy I felt as I raced along our north gravel driveway. The pixie transit of my happy feet took me around the back corner of our farm house while leaving a cloud of delight dust behind me.

As I reigned in my “shank’s horses” (legs) from my running, I reached out to grab the handle of our back porch screen door. The late Spring breezes, wafting through our kitchen windows towards me, carried with them a vaporized elixir upon the air of the fresh-baked perfume of Mom’s homemade bread, just out of the oven. Yuuuhhmmeee!!! 😉 It’s no wonder that I felt so secure, in those young years, when my world encompassed such delectable wonders to my senses and taste. With real, sweet cream butter melting into the still warm bread, I took a happy mouthful and sauntered into our cozy Living Room.

This is a recent photograph of the 1928 “Singer” sewing machine that belonged to Elliott’s mother. The amber glow of the sewing lamp lends an aura of peacefulness. Other than a little tender-loving-care, it still works fine after nearly 100 years.

A familiar and soothingly repetitive “slickety-click, slickety-click” emanated from below the amber lamp of Mom’s electric 1928, Model 99 “Singer” Sewing Machine. There sat the Norwegian “Queen” of our family as she diligently worked on repairing one of our daddy’s bib overalls with her sewing prowess. Our dear parents, having endured the hardships of The Great Depression of the 1930’s, were part of a generation that, unlike today, followed the saying, “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without”. When the hard rigors of our farmer father’s work created a tear or a worn out spot in his heavy-duty bib overalls, those “bibs” were repaired by Mom and put back into service for our dear dad. There was to be no silliness of “Well, we’ll just throw these away and buy new ones”! No sir, by golly gee!!! Besides, any farmer could tell you, dollars were always in short supply, so our folks made do with what they had and made things last as long as possible. Even then, if Dad’s overalls were “too far gone”, Mom, in her grand diligence, would salvage as much fabric material, buttons, clasps, etc. to help repair any of our other clothing needs in the future. Mom, many times over the years, had said, “If I wasn’t already Norwegian, I’d be Scotch”!!! (meaning she really liked to pinch a penny and save when she could).

Elliott’s maternal Great Grandma Martha Larson Sletten who taught so much to young Clarice about sewing and quilting.

Clarice absolutely adored her mother, Amanda! Sadly, though, our Grandmother Amanda Rogness Sletten had contracted tuberculosis, during Clarice’s young teen years, and was quarantined in an Iowa Sanitarium for over two years while she slowly recovered. During those sad years without her mother, our sewing sweetie, Clarice, spent long hours under the loving tutelage of her paternal Grandmother Martha Larson Sletten. A kindly and patient teacher was Grandma Martha to her tender-spirited granddaughter, Clarice. Our young Norwegian “princess” was a very grateful and quick learner when it came to Martha teaching her the A to Z’s of sewing. Not only sewing knowledge was bequeathed to our mother, but, via Martha’s grand stitching knowledge, there also came a life-long love of quilting, too.

Notice the “knee lever” on the right. The more sideways knee pressure, the faster the “Singer” would operate.

There, in the pleasant parlor of our farm home that day, I watched in fascination as our beloved mother deftly handled fabric as she fed it across the “throat plate” and then under the “presser foot” of the “Singer”. The almost imperceptible vertical flashings of the needle were a blur as she, in this case, did some sewing on a part of her recent quilt she was working on. What I thought to be pure magic, was how she made her electric sewing machine come “alive” by not one, but three different methods. There was the “knee lever” that could actuate sewing by pushing her knee gently to the side; the farther she’d push the lever, the faster the “Singer” would perform. Then there was her choice of using the “graduated gear foot switch” to make her “Singer” work slowly or fast, depending on the downward pressure of Mom’s foot. And then, last, but not least, was the “Singer” “balance wheel” on the right end of the machine. Mother could, when needing utmost accuracy, take hold of the “balance wheel” and gently turn the wheel to move the needle carefully and slowly through the fabric of her latest project.

Elliott’s parents, Russell and Clarice Noorlun.

Like a real to life “Dynamic Duo”, was our mother and her 1928 “Singer” Sewing Machine. Together, they did innumerable clothing repairs for our family, created dresses and with impressive skill, beautifully sewed pieces together for her much loved quilts over the years. And, I’m happy to share that her faithful “Singer” is still alive and well at this writing in the year 2021. I have a pleasant feeling in my heart that our good Lord, upon Mom’s arrival into the portals of Heaven, likely shared with her that a number of the jewels in her crown had to do with the giving love of a mother’s heart by seeing that the family He had given her were well taken care of, including the clothing of this grateful Norwegian Farmer’s Son!!! 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 8th

April 8th……..“WHEN LIFE HAS HANDED YOU LEMONS, WERE YOU ABLE TO MAKE A FUN LEMONADE”?

The answer to that question is a smiling, Yes! 😉 To my embarrassment, I have not been a very disciplined person in regards to my dental health over the years. There came a time when my good friend and dentist, back in Battle Ground, Washington, said that I had to have an upper tooth pulled. He wisely cautioned me that, sometimes, depending on the depth of the tooth’s root, there may result in an actual hole up into my sinus cavity called a “fistula”. And, whaddaya know……..that’s exactly what happened! So, rather than cry about my air hole into the head, I decided to have some fun and created a song about it. Using a fun, opera-sounding tune called, “Funiculi, Funicula”, I created some fun. I hope you get a giggle from singing along to my own lyrics to the song I call……..

SONG – “My Flappy Fistula” lyrics by N. Elliott Noorlun

VERSE: I went to see my dentist on a Monday, To clean my tooth, To clean my tooth.

He said, that due to rotting, yuk and decay, It was uncouth, It was uncouth.

His plan, was fix it up upon a Wednesday, It had gone bad, He told this lad.

“But now, we’d better yank it”!, I heard him say, I said, “O.K.”!, He yanked away.

CHORUS: Heave and ho!!! The long tooth popped right out, Now there’s a hole, Clear up into my snout.

He said, “It’s called a Fistula”, The size of a fist, The Fistulaaaaaaaah!!

Now the air blows through my smile, All the way up my Fistula!

VERSE: Before, I had this porcelain pull procedure, My speech was fine, Like flowing wine.

But now, my “P’s” and “F’s” inflate my tooth hole, So now I whine, Just like a swine!

I used to spit and make all kinds of mouth sounds, My friends would snort, From my retort.

But now, just trying to speak sounds like a Bloodhound, Blubbering drool, Just like a fool!!

REPEAT CHORUS AND END WITH A FLUORIDE FLOURISH !!! 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 7th

April 7th……“WHERE DID YOUR FARM GET ITS WATER? FROM YOUR NEARBY TOWN? OR A WELL”?

See the south driveway on Elliott’s farm? By those two tall trees? The family’s first little “Well House” was located next to the large wooden corn crib building.

Even The Rockefeller Sapphire, itself, had to blush with shame in comparison to the brilliance of our blue sky above us on that spectacular Fall day there on our farm northwest of Kiester, Minnesota. A veritable caravan of big station wagons and pickup trucks had just banked into our farm’s U-shaped driveway from the north. Word had gotten out to the “city slickers” up in the “Twin Cities” (Minneapolis/St. Paul) that the Noorlun farm folk were friendly and had a poppin’ up passel of pretty pheasants just a waitin’ for hunters to come and try out their marksmanship………..shot gun style.

With a robust joy, these avid outdoorsmen piled out of their various vehicles with the happy gusto of school boys heading for a playground. Whatever their regulated city lifestyles were on a 9 to 5 basis; here they were able to escape the closed-in confines of their concrete jungle of metropolitan life each Fall and come “let off some steam” here on our 120 acres. As a form of thankfulness and appreciation to our family, for allowing these city visitors to camp and hunt on our land, the generous hunter guests always brought a series of gifts for our clan to enjoy. My little sister, Candice, and myself were very much touched and taken by these handsome gents who took on an aura all their own as they donned their khaki Heritage Jones caps, hunting vests, boots and a plethora of regalia for the goal of bagging their limit in pheasants.

In the very center, of this photo of Elliott’s farm, you can see the white, small, newer “Well House”. There were two water wells on the farm yard property.

Even though our pheasant fanciers loved getting their quota of birds each year; to a man, they ecstatically extolled the highest praise for a liquid ambrosia that our family enjoyed each and every day…………our super delicious WATER!!! All year long, these poor city guys had to suffer with drinking heavy chemicals coming out of their water faucets back home in the city. But at our farm, those happy hunters would rave and rave about how tasty our well water was!! They’d even load up all the containers they could to take some of our liquid gold with them back up to the Twin Cities.

The first pioneers who settled upon our acreage and created our farm initially, were successful in “striking it rich” by digging their first well till they reached the underground water table. That first water well was located at the southeast corner of our farm building property near the old wooden corn crib and the south exiting driveway. Once the water well was established, these sturdy folk then built a small building over the site. That little structure was naturally called, “The Well House( or Pump House)”. Until the 1930’s (before rural electricity came to the countryside of America), water was pumped to the surface by the classic hand pump. With the advent of rural electricity coming into the life of farm families, the hand pump was replaced with an electric motor.

To the right, of Elliott’s lovely Aunt Lillian, is the first water “Well House”. Big brother, Lowell, is in the background hauling buckets of grain to our Hog House nearby.

Water is such an essential component of life itself, especially on a farm when you need to provide, not only water for your own family’s needs, but also for all your animals to drink in order to thrive there upon the land God gave us to take care of.

When our family moved onto the farm we knew as home, in 1946, there was still no running water in our house. That’s right, there wasn’t even a flushing toilet in those days. Our family used what was called, a “Chamber Pot” to use for bodily needs and then that smelly container had to be carried out to and poured down the seat holes in our “Out House” in the woods. Our dedicated mother, Clarice, would trek down to “The Well House” and carry buckets of water, year round, to the house to use for cooking, washing dishes, clothes, etc.. She even had to boil water on top of our stove for her family to use for Saturday night bath times. Water was precious and it was up to Mom, Dad or our big brother, Lowell, to carry untold numbers of buckets of water from “The Well House” to the barn, chicken coop, pig house, etc..

Eventually, a second well was dug about 20 yards, or so, from the first “Well House”. This time, an electric pump system was installed to bring all the water up from underground that we needed for daily activities and thirsts.

This is the actual water cup that hung from the spigot of the Noorlun family’s newer “Well House”. Behind the cup is Mrs. Noorlun’s BIG coffee pot for feeding large groups of workers.

One of the key ingredients for our “tasty” water was iron. That mineral was highly prevalent in our well water that we enjoyed on a daily basis. That natural mineral gave our H2O a robust flavoring, along with the other natural minerals that existed down below the earth in the strata known as the water table. The newer “Well House” was more compact in size and thoroughly insulated to protect against freezing pipes in the Winter, as well as helping to keep the water in the holding tank that much cooler in the muggy, humid heat of a Minnesota Summer. A spigot was installed on the south side of the newer little “Well House” and a cute porcelain-coated cup was hung there for any and all to quench their thirst when they’d pass by. That dear little cup sure took its beatings over the years by being dropped and chipped severely of it’s nice white coating. Some citified folk may see it as a detriment, but we farm folk actually enjoyed the “badge of honor” in the natural brown staining that built up inside that little cup over time.

You know, life has gotten way too fancy. We’ve become a throwaway society of single use this and single use that. Personally, I’m a happy n healthy guy thanks to these farm day practices of drinking from that little, iron-stained cup that gave us the sweetest water this side of anywhere on the farm of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son. 😉

In this 1965 photo, the old wooden corn crib is replaced by a wire one. On the right side of the wire corn crib, you’ll see the old “Well House” is gone now also. A “stock tank”, in the same location, still exists to provide lots of tasty water for the farm.

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 6th

April 6th……..“WHAT KIND OF ATTRIBUTES DID YOU AND YOUR FAMILY GLEAN FROM WORKING WITH COWS ON YOUR FARM THERE IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA”?

POEM – “How Now Black n White Cow”? (My idea for a title. Poet author is anonymous from a 1936 Old Farmer’s Almanac).

The year 1959 saw Elliott’s big brother, Lowell, as he gets a young Holstein heifer ready to take her to the Faribault County Fair, in Blue Earth, MN. His goal to was to win a Blue Ribbon First Place Prize with her.

When life seems one too many for you,

Go and look at a cow.

When the future’s black, And the outlook blue,

Go and look at a cow.

For she does nothing, But eat her food,

And sleeps in the meadow, Entirely nood,

Refusing to fret, Or worry or brood,

Because she doesn’t know how!

Whenever you’re feeling, Bothered and sore,

Go and look at a cow.

When everything else, Is a fearful bore,

Go and look at a cow.

Observe her gentle, And placid air,

Her nonchalance, And savoir faire,

Her absolute freedom, From every care,

Her imperturbable brow.

So, when you’re at the end of your wits,

Go and look at a cow.

Or when your nerves, Are frayed to bits,

And wrinkles furrow your brow;

She’ll merely moo, In her gentle way,

Switching her rudder, As if to say,

Bother tomorrow, Let’s enjoy today,

Take the advice of a cow!!!! 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 5th

April 5th…………..“WHAT WAS A PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTIC YOU SAW IN YOUR FARMER DADDY THAT MADE HIM EVEN MORE SPECIAL”?

POEM – “A Farmer’s Man Tan” by N. Elliott Noorlun

May of 1939 finds Elliott’s mother, Clarice, in front of the telephone operator’s office with handsome Elvin Wogen (sporting his farmer man tan) and his sister, Luella.

There’s nothing so grand, For a “prince” of the land,

Than the honored visage, Of a farmer’s man tan.

Elliott’s father, Russell, (top right) shows the light colored brow of his farmer man tan.

With his forehead white, While his face burned brown,

From wind and sun, T’was an award of reknown.

Outdoors was the primary place of life for a farmer.

Just like their livestock, They lived outdoors,

Working in the fields, And a doin’ their chores,

Many a farmer is close to his God and his land! ><>

Whether baseball cap, Or fedora’s full brim,

Or engineer’s cap, With striped blue trim,

From a YouTube film about farm life in the 1950’s.

It gave them protection, From weather’s ire,

As they farmed their land, Their passion’s fire.

From a YouTube video that shows grandfather with his cap off and the lighter skin of his forehead while gathering with his grandchildren on their farm in the 1950’s.

To provide for their legacy, In the farming life they ran,

And proud they were to wear, A farmer’s man tan!! 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 4th

April 4th……...”HAVE YOU EVER BEEN CLOSE TO A LARGE GAME ANIMAL BEFORE”?

POEM – “To Goose A Moose” by N. Elliott Noorlun

Some Big White Hunter, I’ll never be,

I’m just too tenderhearted.

But what I saw, In my mackinaw,

Done scared me till I farted!!!

My uncle and I, Driving down the Al/Can,

Slowly bumpin’ upon snow road,

Looked up in the woods, The best we coulds,

In the brush of the moose abode.

When down off that rise, To our utter surprise,

Came a female moose on the run.

She caught up to us quick, Alongside car at a click,

And we both thought, “You son of a gun”!!!

Maybe she was confused, In her love-starved mood,

And thought our car was her mate,

But we didn’t want to, Take the chance,

Of her love soon turning to hate!

Barney yelled, “HANG ON”!!!, “Gonna scream her a song”!!,

“To get her away from our car”!!,

“Cause if she should charge”, “Our motorized barge”,

“We’ll land in the canyon afar”!!!

Barney banged the car’s side, He hooted n cried,

And, by golly, She headed for the hills.

Now my “moose-pimples” could settle, And return to my mettle,

For me that was PLENTY of thrills!!! 😉