Norwegian Farmer’s Son…May 2nd


#45.1=Elliott & Rosie on hay wagon(March 1955)
Tiny Elliott could always count on big sister, Rosemary, to be nearby for playtime and loving.

Before my lungs drew their first breath of life, our sister, Rosemary Arlone Noorlun, was  already a veteran of eight wondrous years of living life on our farm there in southern Minnesota.

#402=Rosemary Arlone Noorlun; circa Fall 1946
“Dew of the sea”

In 1946, when our beloved sister entered this earthly life, she was given the name of Rosemary.  Now the appellation of “Rosemary” comes from the Latin language and its meaning is “dew of the sea”.  To this little brother, Rosie truly was a refreshing “dew” that moistened our lives with her vibrancy and refreshments of joy that exuded from living out her each day from sunup to sundown.  Oh sure, Rosemary could also be a “drama queen”, from time to time; seeing that she was only human, like the rest of us.

With a smile, I witnessed this in person, as well as hearing of her various antics, over the years there on our farm.  And, like any child who needs to be disciplined from time to time, I had the hilarious pleasure one day as a corrective moment came to pass.   I saw Mom take after our teenager big Sis with a yardstick after she showed a bit of rebellion against our matriarch.  The “point” was made, by Mom, on Rosie’s teenage bottom, as that yardstick snapped in half over Rosie’s gluteus maximus while she raced up the stairs to try to get away from our mother’s wrath……..hehehehe 😉

#378=Rosemary & Aunt Esther Bidne at Kiester, MN farm; circa 1948
Our mother’s Aunt Esther Rogness Bidne holds tiny Rosemary on our farm near Kiester, Minnesota.  Circa late 1940’s.

Of course, myself not yet being in attendance of life at the time, I can only imagine the adventures our sister must have enjoyed.  I always treasured listening to the in-depth sharing of big brother, Lowell, and our wonderful mother, Clarice, as they talked about some of the daily life of our darling big sister over her young days before 1954 and my entering the family.  I can easily surmise, though, that sister must have been the center of attention wherever the young Noorlun family ventured.  Even my mother’s Aunt Esther Rogness Bidne couldn’t resist a time of cuddling and walking with little Rosie in her arms around our sprawling farm yard in the late 1940’s.

#307=Pauline Bidne, Rosemary..3rd BD.., Lowell; May 15, 1949
Rosie’s 3rd birthday party in 1949.  Cousin Pauline Bidne Osheim is to the left and big brother, Lowell, on the right in this scene taken just outside our farm home kitchen window.

Our forever thank yous go to our sweet mother (Clarice), who, with her 1931 Kodak camera, captured Rosemary’s 3rd birthday party in May of 1949.  It looked to be a grand success, in that photo, as our brother and cousin kneeled next to the overturned wash tub that became a kid-sized cake table.  The massive lilac bush behind them likely lent its perfumed elegance to the fun occasion of our little princess celebrating another milestone in her tiny life, so far.

#80=Rosemary holding Dad's lunch bag, circa 1949
Lunch for Daddy.  Circa 1950

Another year or so goes by and our sister, I’m sure, was already catching on to the daily routine of farm life as she witnesses how our faithful mother took an afternoon dinner out to our hard-working father in the fields.  Therefore, around 1950 or 51, Rosie must’ve felt that this was a task a little maiden was up to carrying out, so our mother gave Sis a straw hat to shade her and a big bag of dinner for our Dad as Mom captured the moment on film.  How sweet it must’ve been for our farmer father to see a mini vision of loveliness toddling out towards him as he’d be pulling a corn planter, or other implement, towards the treed windbreak and a dinner time with such a lovely daughter.  Those were, I’m sure, tender years, not only in our family, but for the whole of American life, at the time.

#110=Elliott in playpen tub with Rosie painting bike, circa 1955
Elliott always knew he had a champion in his big sister, Rosie!  Here, she keeps a watchful eye on “tubby” in the tub while she paints her bicycle near our farm home in Summer of 1955.

So, when “me, myself and I” came along in 1954, big sister Rosie was already an experienced sibling who was always there for me and stepped right into the roles of young “mother”, “protector”, “teacher” and yes, sometimes even a “drill sergeant” who could mete out justice and correction, when needed, to make her little brother “toe the line”!

#982 Rosie as KHS Band Officer
Elliott was always proud of his big sister, Rosemary.  Here, as a Junior in High School, she is third from left, in back row of this 1963 photo when she was a fellow Kiester High School Band Officer.  Don’t they all look so elegant?  Life was classy in those days of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

Although our beloved sister left us for the shores of Heaven’s Glory in July of 1989, I will be forever grateful for the grand sister of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.


#49=Elliott & Rosie (circa March 1955) on couch in living room.
Elliott got loved on plenty by his doting big sister, Rosemary!! 😉

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