Norwegian Farmer’s Son…July 1st

July 1st…“WHEN A LITTLE BOY, ON YOUR MINNESOTA FARM, TELL US ABOUT AN OUTDOOR GAME THAT YOU MADE UP ON YOUR OWN.”

NFS 7.1c
Elliott’s baseball bat became, in his imagination, a spear of the malicious “Winkie Guard” 😉

The song, “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”, was still ringing in my ears as I exited our farm house after viewing the classic 1939 movie called, “The Wizard Of Oz”.   Ohhh, the impressionable imaginations of a child!  Ever since that fun, yet scary, movie first appeared on our little black & white television set, I grew to be a big fan of the story of Dorothy and her adventures in Oz.  The exact date of this scenario is a bit vague, but I’d easily guess that I was about 8 years of age, so that puts us in the timeline of about the summer of 1962.

NFS 7.1b
Our three heroes take up the long spears and pretend to be Winkie Guardsmen.

Do you remember the scene where the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion are on the quest to rescue Dorothy?  They were peering down from the dark cliffs near the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West, remember?  There below, near the castle entrance, in all of their deep, bass-voiced splendor, were the Winkie Guards conducting their military marching drills.  With evil relish, those Winkie Guards would march with vicious cadence as they paraded over the castle drawbridge area.  With their intent to cast fear into any trepidatious enemy nearby, the malicious Winkie Guard would then sing out this mournful, bellicose, chanted dirge…..“OHHWEEEOHH, YEEOOOH WHUMPF”!!   Over and over, in deadly harmony, they’d make that mournfully deep sound as their long, green noses poked out in front of their furry-turbaned heads.  And, to add to their mercenary maleficence, slung over their shoulders, they carried those long weapons of death…..the multi-pointed spears!!  OOooooo, how MONSTROUS they were!!!!

NFS 7.1a
Elliott invented a game.

 

 

Now, I took that imagery from the movie that was emblazoned on my young mind and PRESTO, I had the genesis of my new outdoor game.  Since the farm demanded so much time from our father each day, I seldom had a time to play baseball catch with him.  Big brother had already left our farm to join the Air Force, so he was away, too.  No offense to my sisters, but at my age of about 8 years, girls were just not acceptable playmates.  You know, they had girl germs and cooties, etc.  😉  So, that left “me, myself and I” to create a playtime on my own.  And, that’s just what I did!

#304=Kiester home towards NW; October 1965
Elliott’s happy, marching baseball game took place on the large, expansive front lawn of their farm home in southern Minnesota. 

T’was a glorious Minnesota day as I grabbed my baseball bat and ball and wandered out into the expansive front lawn of our farm home.  I began by tossing the baseball into the air and hitting some long “pop-flys” with my bat.  Of course, the baseball ended up landing at the far end of our sloped lawn which necessitated that I walk the long distance to retrieve the ball so I could then “pop-fly” a hit of the ball to the other end of the yard.  Rather than just carry the bat as I returned to the far end of the yard, I decided to add some flair and fun to this repetitive routine.  Instantly, with my vivid imagination, I transformed myself into a short, squat, high-voiced little Norwegian “Winkie Guard”.  While on the “march” to get that baseball, my bat became a long, “Winkie” spear over my little boy shoulder, just like the wicked bad guys did in the movie.  Naturally, in my imagination station character, I would march pompously toward my baseball while singing loudly (and in the deepest voice a little squirt like me could make), “OHHWEEEOHH YEEOOOH WHUMPF”!!!  Upon reaching my baseball’s location, I’d toss it up in the air, whack it as hard as I could with my bat, and then conduct a repeat performance of the March Of The Winkie Guards.   T’was some real fun in the sun for a self-sufficient little farm boy with the vivid imagination of a Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

NFS 7.1d
Elliott pretended to be a marching Winkie Guard as he played his own version of baseball.

 

 

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Norwegian Farmer’s Son…June 30th

June 30th…“TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE WORKS OF ART AND WHO WAS THE ARTIST WHO PAINTED THEM.”

NFS 6.30a
Jesus is the Master Artist!! ><>

I stepped into a frame of time and place and could only stand in awe at the wonderment of watching this Artist Craftsman in progress as He created the essence of the ultimate beauty on His “canvas”.  I was held spellbound in His presence by the captivating manner of His omniscient brush strokes and colored hues in this properly proportioned project of  loveliness and serenity.  As each part of the artwork was tenderly put into place, being imbued and enhanced by love, I couldn’t help but be breathless in anticipation of seeing the final canvas of art revealed.

isolated human hand holding brush painting vector
Each stroke was pure genius!

 

 

Master at what He does best, He knew that to truly compliment this work of perfection, He would need to select and draw colors from two wide spectra of work and then harmonize them into this opus of magnificence.  Patience was a necessity while He built one facet of this bejeweled work upon the next.  They were to be like jewelry that is both made of gold and yet caressed with inlaid gems, as well.

#726 Nathan, Daddy &amp; Christa 1984 001
Our first two “works of art”….Nathan and Christa!!

Finally, at the apex of perfection, this very beautiful work of art was brought forth in five wonderful revealings.  The title to this masterpiece of art?  “BIRTH!”  That glorious artwork of God in the births of our five glorious children…….our “jewels”, our “diamonds” of delight in the form of the lives of our Nathan, Christa, Rachel, Johanna and Rose Noorlun!!!  Each of their creations, each maturing, each bringing forth, and each life developing has been truly God’s work of art and something I have always been in awe of and thought was very beautiful to behold for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.  😉  ><>

NFS 6.30c
Four works of art surround Daddy Elliott.  L to R….Rose, Christa, Johanna and Rachel (who enjoyed wearing the same kind of Greek Fisherman’s cap that daddy does!)  😉

 

 

 

 

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…June 29th

June 29th…“WHAT WAS THE WORST PAYING JOB YOU EVER WORKED AT?”

POEM – “I Knew Wood Should”   by N. Elliott Noorlun

NFS 6.29c
Wood became Elliott’s enemy each night at the Celatchie Prairie Lumber & Plywood Mill.

I knew wood should, not be my foe,

As I came to the Mill each day.

But if wood could, wear evil hood,

I think I’d hear it say,

NFS 6.29b
Elliott’s job was to stack piles of cut lumber.

“I’ll make the Mill, pull levers at will,

And send piles down “green chain” way.

We’ll pile wood so deep, that those sad boys will keep,

Crying in horrid dismay!!”

For you see, my work, which I did not shirk, Was to sort and pile each plank,

But the tons they’d send, seemed to have no end,  And so my young heart just sank!

Oregon Lumber
Elliott stacked everything from long 2″x 4″ lumber all the way up to 2″ x 12″ and even larger sizes of heavy “green”, newly cut lumber.

I got blisters and bruise, from each muscle I’d use, My young lean body would smart!

As each morning would rise, with more pain in my eyes, I really began to lose heart.

NFS 6.29e

For the Mill crews were clever, with button and lever,

Produced too much wood for us boys,

To track and to stack, As our foreheads we’d smack,

While those bozos played big with their toys.

NFS 6.29g
That Mill was freezing!!!!

When the winter winds blew, and came flying through,

That Mill it would chill to the bone.

So with lumber in lap, This forlorn young chap,

Carried on in this laboring zone.

NFS 6.29h
Elliott’s department prayed for the giant Mill to break down so they could get a rest.

Just once in a while, we’d all crack a smile,

When the Mill up above would break down,

We’d yip and holler, as some swigs we’d swaller,

And tease around like a clown.

But sure enough, just like sneezing from snuff,

They’d make their repairs up above,

Then t’was back to the dreary, Our bodies all weary,

We’d give new loads of wood a shove.

NFS 6.29i
A new job came to Elliott’s rescue!!!

But then came the day, when I said, “HOOORAYYY!”

For a new job came into my view.

Bid the Mill goodbye, it’s time to try,

A job I knew I could do.

Thirty years went by, And I tell ya, this guy,

Was thrilled by each parent and kid.

For this janitor smiles, and sang o’er the miles,

This job’s joys made me flip my lid!!! 😉

NFS 6.29j

 

 

 

 

 

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…June 28th

June 28th…“WHEN LIVING ON THE FARM IN MINNESOTA, DID YOUR MOTHER EVER TEACH YOU A CRAFT TO ENJOY THAT SHE HAD LEARNED WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG?”

#24=Clarice Sletten(Scarville, Iowa Graduation '37)
Clarice Arlone Sletten Noorlun at the time of her youth when she learned to do embroidery.

Cradled in the gentility of a mother’s loving heart are the desires to share the joys and knowledge she gleaned in her youth with her own sweet progeny.  Our precious mother, Clarice, did just that for my sister, Candice, and myself when we were little.   Mom’s sewing and embroidery prowess came from her being tutored by her own mother, grandmother and her extended church family.  Clarice had been raised in the Lutheran denomination of our Christian heritage and our darling mother warmly recalled being a happy member of an All Girls League (like a club) at her local church of worship.   The title of her girls church club was called, “The Lutheran Daughters Of The Reformation”.   On regular meetings, Clarice and other High School aged girls would meet at their church for Bible Study, spiritual training and also various homemaking skills and crafts.

NFS 6.28f
So much lovely skills to learn!

As time went on, at their club meetings, two elderly lady “spinsters” (our mother’s terminology for ladies who never married) volunteered to attend the League meetings to share their knowledge of sewing skills to the mid-1930’s generation of young women that included our lovely mother.

NFS 6.28d
Elliott’s Great Grandmother, Martha Larson Sletten, (in this photo) and his Grandmother Amanda Rogness Sletten were two key educators in helping Clarice be such a good seamstress.

It is only too evident that our beloved mother also gleaned more of her sewing and embroidery skills from her precious mother, Amanda Rogness Sletten.   Another gracious contributor to Mom’s needle knowledge was our Great Grandmother, Martha Larson Sletten.

Woman Using Sewing Machine
So many lovely items were made by Elliott’s mother, Clarice, for their family and others.

The culmination of Mom’s excellent sewing skills manifested themselves to our own generation by the beautiful creations she would make for our own immediate family and also as home-made gifts for others.  As just a partial listing, our sweet family matriarch created embroidered dish towels, fancy embroidered pillow cases, artistic wall hangings, gorgeous quilts and the list just went on and on.

NFS 6.28g
A type of stitching that Elliott and sister Candice would make with their mom’s help.

As is common for many little children, my sister and I would sometimes come to our mother with the age old saying, “Mom, we’re bored!!  There’s nothing to do!!!”  This whining became more prevalent during the cold and long winter months when confinement to the house, due to blizzard or icy conditions, was a norm for farm families.  Mother, in her wisdom and love for us, would bring out her sewing supplies and also our favorite coloring books.  First, we were directed by Mom to find a cartoon page that we wanted to use to create our very own special stitching project.  We’d then cut that page out of the coloring book.  Another step of this process of creativity was to lay a piece of black-looking paper, called carbon paper, over a piece of linen cloth (that we’d soon be stitching onto, and then finally, place the cartoon page over that carbon paper.  Mother showed us how to then take an old, worn-down, well-rounded pencil and begin to trace that pencil along the lines of the cartoon image we wanted to create on the linen cloth on the bottom of this tri-level project.  As we moved the dull pencil over the cartoon outline, the carbon paper was transferring its “ink” on to that line image of the cloth below.  When we finished every last line of the cartoon tracing, and lifted the coloring page and carbon……..THERE would be our stitching cloth picture; just ready for coloring in with stitching.

NFS 6.28a
Ohhh for all the lovely colors.

I distinctly enjoyed the rainbow of colors that our dear mother had in her collection of embroidery “floss”.   No, not like what you use on your teeth before brushing…..this was special sewing string called, floss.  Wooden embroidery hoops were also now employed to “capture” the cloth image tightly within a round frame so that we could begin stitching the outline of our horse or princess picture with whatever colors of floss we imagined that they should look like.

NFS 6.28e
“Sew” what, it was fun!

Now, the two of us little ones were happily lost in our world of woven wonderment.  Sister and I enjoyed countless hours of pleasant pleasures of our own fabric artwork while “Old Man Winter” howled benignly outside of our cozy farm house walls.  Those were soft and peaceful memories for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

#272=Clarice &amp; G. Amanda at family reunion; June 27, 1954
Clarice and her other sewing teacher…..her beloved mother, Amanda Rogness Sletten (on the right in this photo).  Such a deep, abiding love they had for each other!! 😉

 

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…June 27th

June 27th…“WHEN GROWING UP ON YOUR FARM IN MINNESOTA, SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT SOMETHING THAT WAS A MYSTERY AND PUZZLEMENT TO YOU.”

POEM – “A Hammer Named Stammer”  by N. Elliott Noorlun

NFS 6.27a
Hmmmm???

There’s a lot of questions, For each little boy,

As he encounters, Every daily joy.

“How come this?” and “Why is that?”,

Like, “Why did God make a calico cat?”,

A moment like that, Came to me one day,

As far off towards, Our woods I did play.

 

#78=Kiester farm, February 1959, W towards shop &amp; barn
Elliott’s daddy, Russell, was hammering on some metal equipment in front of this white shop building that you see on the left side of this photo from 1959.

I could see our dad, Real far away,

As far as a football field I’d say.

NFS 6.27b
That hammer would stammer….in Elliott’s opinion.

With muscled arm, Dad’s hammer would fall,

And yet, for a second, No sound at all.

Then, like magic, Sound reached my ear,

And only then, Could I hear.

NFS 6.27d
“Stammer” the hammer 😉

T’was if that hammer, Didn’t know how to talk,

It seemed to stutter, It seemed to balk.

Being too young, To understand science,

I could only draw on, Boy’s brain reliance.

So, then and there, I named that hammer,

His name then would be, The hammer called, “Stammer”.

NFS 6.27f
Later in life, Elliott learned how sound travels and how fast.

As I got older, And went to school,

Learning facts, And the Golden Rule,

I was taught about, The speed of sound,

And just how fast, Across the ground,

That sound can travel, Once it’s made,

And where we stand, Will change the grade,

Of when our ears, Can listen in,

From whence that sound, Did begin.

So, “Stammer” the hammer, Was a learning time,

As I have shared, Within this rhyme!!  😉

NFS 6.27c
Always so much to learn when growing up on that farm in Minnesota 😉

 

 

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…June 26th

June 26th…“WERE YOU EVER IN A FIGHT DURING YOUR HIGH SCHOOL YEARS?”

POEM – “Ping Pong POW!!!”  by N. Elliott Noorlun

NFS 6.26e
Elliott’s Physical Education teacher, Mr. Robert Lynn.

Back in the days of P.E. class, Where each of us boys reports,

Ol’ Mr. Lynn, before he’d begin, Had us dress in our P.E. shorts.

NFS 6.26c
Fun times!

Upstairs to the gym, back when we were slim, It was time for our ping-pong teaching,

Yet we didn’t suspect, or even detect, What pain would soon be reaching.

NFS 6.26d
YEEOUCH, that hurt!!!

That Terry T., was a jerk, you see, With an evil twist of prank,

He’d sneak up behind, our butt cheeks to find,

And with paddle would give them a SPANK!!

NFS 6.26f
Elliott and Terry tussled!

As we filed downstairs, I grabbed him by hairs, And threatened he spank me no more,

And true to his form, he started to swarm, And we tangled for I was quite sore!!!

With one hefty shove, I changed from a dove, And sent that doofus a flying.

He landed in hamper, and away he did scamper, I even thought I heard crying.

NFS 6.26b
Terry T. had learned his lesson.  Now we could play ping-pong in peace.

Needless to say, from onward that day,  Butt cheeks were no longer molested,

For Terry T. knew, the reason I “blew”, Not wanting my anger be tested. 😉

NFS 6.26g
The Boys Showers/Locker Room, in these bottom windows of Battle Ground’s East High building, was where the Ping-Pong POW fight took place between Elliott and Terry T..

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…June 25th

June 25th…“DID YOU EVER TRY TO DO SOMETHING, LIKE YOUR DAD, THAT ENDED UP BEING AN EMBARRASSMENT?”

POEM – “Ya Gotta Know How to Blow!”  by N. Elliott Noorlun

NFS 6.25c
Elliott made a mess trying to be like his daddy! 😉

You may think it’s funny, But it’s SNOT,

That dribbled down my face.

Dad made it look easy, But when things got breezy,

The mess I made was disgrace!

NFS 6.25g
Our farmer and son painting would be on a red International Farmall tractor.

Our farmer dad was lean and lanky,

And sometimes too busy for proper hanky.

With one finger he’d ply, And let nostril fly,

But was a ghastly mess for this little guy.

NFS 6.25h
Now THAT didn’t work!!!

“Protein Propelling Prince” I was not,

And at first I really got upsot.

But with practice each day,

I got better each way,

In clearing face “tunnels”,

Of protein’s whey.

NFS 6.25b
His nose was on the run, for that silly farmer’s son.

So gross, you say, And I know it’s true,

Not prim or proper, some’ll say boohoo.

But when your busy, And you’ve got the urge,

Just look out and blow, And give them a purge!!! 😉

'Finger' Teacher teaching Class of Noses, saying 'Pick me!'