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Unexpected company and the war effort

On my way to Magdeline Priebe's room to hear her story, a little lady in a wheelchair reached up and took my hand, saying she had a bit of time to visit. Her name is Marie Walters and she worked many years in the Sebeka school.

Marie wants everyone to know she is one contented lady. She always has been because that's what her father taught her when she was a child. That's the way she wants to be remembered.

Magdeline's room was three doors down and she had just returned from dinner. She was born in 1921 in Bowdle, N.D. Her father's name was Gus Jong and her mother was Elizabeth. Gus was a farmer who claimed his best crops were grain and rattlesnakes.

Magdeline met Carl Priebe through mutual friends. Farming suited both Carl and Magdeline so they did not try to find any other occupation. They have four children. Carl died several years ago.

As a family, they enjoyed those Saturday nights in Sebeka, shopping and visiting with friends. Birthdays and anniversaries or just for fun, neighbors met often in their homes for cards and visiting.

Those were the times friends and neighbors did not wait to be invited or call ahead. A baby sitter was an unknown quantity. Kids were expected and went wherever their parents did.

Magdeline also remembers those days as the times she reached for the makings of a cake when a car drove in. Farm wives also kept a supply of graham crackers and powdered sugar on hand as they made a mighty fine addition to lunch.

We talked about how fast the war effort took over after Pearl Harbor. Victory gardens sprung up on city lots, groups of ladies met to roll bandages from old sheets, school started having bomb drills. Four of Magdeline's brothers served and came home again.

Life on a farm may not compete with places with an exciting happening every minute, but we decided it can't be beat for a place to raise kids.

Last week at the Fair Oaks picnic, children were given rides in a Jeep, and the Jeff and Dan Youngbauer band entertained.