It was a rite of entering manhood when we got old enough to tend the blower on the threshing machine. The machine was usually set with the feeder into the wind for cleaner threshing. It was fairly clean on both sides of the separator, except standing on the platform to swing the blower left, right, raise or lower the hood or extend the blower out as the man stacking straw would indicate. ... Read more

Editor’s note: The Country Today reader Toni Lubich sent us this story along with the following note: “My grandfather, Walter E. Swenson, of Pierce County, recalled memories of his life, including his service in the Army. I am attaching that story. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 88. We…

Editor’s note: The Country Today reader Toni Lubich sent us this story along with the following note: “My grandfather, Walter E. Swenson, of Pierce County, recalled memories of his life, including his service in the Army. I am attaching that story. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 88. We…

When I was a kid, the bakery in Wautoma sent a truck throughout the countryside, stopping at each farmer’s place with the hope of selling bread, sweet rolls, doughnuts and much more.

I wrote the following embedded poem 30 years ago, although by then it was already 20 years in the making. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that Christmas in Vietnam, 1968, and, unfortunately, little has changed except the decades.

When I was a kid, the Christmas season began the Monday after Thanksgiving. With the Thanksgiving celebration now a memory and the deer season over, my brothers and I turned our thoughts to this special season. The Sears Christmas Catalog had arrived to tell us that Christmas was just around…

The smell of Swisher Sweets often complemented the aroma of the Christmas feast at Grandpa Reeson’s house during the holidays. Grandpa’s laughter was boisterous — almost childlike — and always accompanied by a slap on the knee. He wore his pride as the patriarch to the family on his face and…

My brother Richard jabbed a fork into his mashed potatoes. He knew what was coming.

It was the week following Thanksgiving, and it had snowed 6 inches, enough for sledding on the hill behind Chain O’ Lake School. I dragged my old sled from the storage place above the woodshed, ran some sandpaper along the rusty runners, and headed for school. I knew that during first recess…

The back door opened and the chore crew came in for supper. Mom asked me to get the milk out of the refrigerator and place it on the table as she removed the roast from the oven that had been making the house smell so delicious. I swung the refrigerator door open and reached for the one gall…

My mother cut my hair with a hand-operated clipper that pulled like the dickens. Getting a haircut was in the same category as having a tooth filled. When she finished with her hair-pulling clippers, loose hair settled between my long underwear and my skin, and I itched until Saturday night,…

We had our first snow tonight in Sunset Hills, Mo. The first snow always takes me back to the day in October, when someone would look out the window of our one room Happy Corners school and whisper, “It’s snowing.” Education came to a halt as we rushed to the window to take in this marvelous…

With the fall harvest nearly complete and winter just around the corner, I sat by wood stove in my kitchen. A cold wind blew from the northwest all day, tearing leaves from the aspens and oaks and sending them scurrying. As the sun set, the wind died down and a great calm settled over the la…

On the 29th of September, my friend Sandy and I (I was her guest) attended a wedding at the Heidel House in the beautiful village of Green Lake. The bride, a godchild of Sandy’s brother, comes from a farm family outside of Chilton where they cultivate crops and milk a multitude of Holsteins.…

It is simply unbelievable that one can recall the name of their first heifer calf, sing the song “Oklahoma,” and recite the 4-H Pledge, but can’t remember where the car key is in the morning.