Carolyn is the oldest in a family of 4 children, the only girl. David is 16 months younger, Allen, less than a year younger than David; Randy is 9 years younger than Carolyn.
Because their farm was within the village limits, Carolyn and her brothers walked to grocery stores, the post office, and school. They waved at neighbors along the way and knew many townsfolk by name. Children living on farms outside of the village were not so fortunate; they were more isolated and not exposed to these daily activities.
Carolyn and her brothers made their own entertainment by conjuring adventures on the farm, fishing or swimming in the Baraboo River, or ice skating on the Schroeder ponds. In winter, they used a dilapidated card table and holey blankets to build forts or make up skits in their basement playroom. Their dad bought the few toys they had at auctions; most were well used and rather sad. Checkers and Sorry were their favorite board games. Later, winter hours passed quickly with a game of Monopoly.
Gathering with relatives and friends was a highlight. A television arrived when Carolyn was 9-years-old, a telephone when she was 12-years-old.
Chores were assigned as soon as the children were capable, in the kitchen, gardens, or barns. Carolyn and her brothers were expected to drive tractors at a young age, starting with simple tasks relating to harvesting crops.
The children’s clothes were handmade by their grandmother, often from remnants. Carolyn did not have a store-bought coat until she started high school.
It was a simple life with few distractions. It was a good life. To read more about North Freedom, WI, buy the book here.
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