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Rusty Windmill

IN THE 1950s

The Pfeiffer Sisters grew up on a North Dakota farm in the 1950s, watched over by their parents and the windmill that tirelessly provided them with the water vital to their survival. Lose yourself in Jackie and Janine's loving, sometimes spirited recollections, which are complemented by the observations of the ever-present windmill.

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The Pfeiffer Sisters are delighted to announce via their 1950s Fun Chat broadcast on August 8, 2022, that the North Dakota film company Canticle Productions plans to make While the Windmill Watched its next film! Or read an article in the August 19, 2022, issue of InForumWe've also got a dedicated Windmill Film page.

On October 4, The Sisters were guests on Prairie Public's Main Street with Ashley Thornberg to talk about how Windmill  is being made into a film. Give a listen!

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Old Windmill

Jackie and Janine


World traveler and adventurer Jackie Pfeiffer McGregor (right) lives near Colville, Washington, with her husband, Bob. The two retirees spend much of their time volunteering and enjoying the outdoor activities of hiking and kayaking in northeastern Washington.

Entrepreneur Janine Pfeiffer Knop (left) and her husband, Fred, farm together near Atlantic, Iowa, where they also breed and raise award-winning sheep. Many of her days start in the kitchen, the hub of her local and online business, Miss NiNi’s Fine Desserts.



THE 2022 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARDS recognized While the Windmill Watched: A Slice of Rural America in the 1950s by Jackie Pfeiffer McGregor and Janine Pfeiffer Knop in the category of Regional as a 2022 Distinguished Favorite.

The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers, and professional copywriters. Selected IPA Award Winners and Distinguished Favorites are based on overall excellence.

In 2022, the Independent Press Awards had entries worldwide. Authors and publishers from countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Jordan, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, and the United States participated.

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News and Events



Have you been following the weekly 1950s Fun Chats? Or mark your calendars for upcoming events.  Details are available on our News & Events page.

Like and follow us on Facebook to get up-to-the-minute news about While the Windmill Watched.

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"I love your book. I couldn't put it down. It is such a heart-warming book."

—Marcia P.

"I just finished your swell book. I savored it slowly because I didn't want to finish. I so enjoyed everything that was in it. Five stars for While the Windmill Watched."

—Glee P.

"I just finished reading your book, and I have fallen in love with Jack, Eudora, Jackie and Janine. What a delightful book!"

—Larry A.

"Just finished the chapter on farm life. Jackie, I can't believe that you shoved your hand into the birth canal of a ewe that was having trouble delivering. I'm impressed. I'm practically speechless! I like that the book is broken into segments and that the windmill has a voice."


—Nancy S.

—Andrew Z.

"Your story is truly a slice of Americana and offers a unique insight on a memorable era."

"A great book. I had so many of the same experiences growing up in North Dakota. It brought back many great experiences and memories."

—Jerry M.

"With tears in my eyes reading the last chapter. Sad the book is coming to a close. You have made your life growing up in North Dakota come alive! Your first hand experiences came alive for me as a reader! Thank you and congratulations!"

—Kay O.

"Got my copy and love all the pictures! The first line is a gem! Genius!"

—Kathleen B.

"If your Christmas morning was get up, eat, feed the animals, then open presents, you will find this sisterly memoir a rich remembrance—or, if you had a different experience, this will give you a new view into growing up mid-20th century on a North Dakota farm. Jello salad, the Young Citizen’s League song, cattle drives (yes, in the 1950s), skillfully home-made clothes, and, of course, a blizzard or two.  The Pfeiffer sisters evoke it in detail, and how well it worked for them and their community. We’ve all got a thing or two to learn from this lovingly recalled portrait of a family, a farm and a town."

—Bill Thomas, Director of Radio, Prairie Public

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