Rusty Windmill

WHILE THE WINDMILL WATCHED:

THE STORY

Windmills have been crucial tools for the people of the plains for more than a century, harvesting first water and today energy.

 

In While the Windmill Watched, a windmill takes on the unique role of narrator as it chronicles the 1950s through the lives of the Pfeiffer Sisters, Jackie and Janine, as they grow up on a farm near Menoken, North Dakota. Written in four voices—each sister, the sisters together, and the windmill—the book describes how social and technological innovations that occurred mid-century played out in the daily lives of farmers, ranchers, and townspeople across the Great Plains.

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Rusty Windmill

WHILE THE WINDMILL WATCHED:

THE STORY

Windmills have been crucial tools for the people of the plains for more than a century, harvesting first water and today energy.

 

In While the Windmill Watched, a windmill takes on the unique role of narrator as it chronicles the 1950s through the lives of the Pfeiffer Sisters, Jackie and Janine, as they grow up on a farm near Menoken, North Dakota. Written in four voices—each sister, the sisters together, and the windmill—the book describes how social and technological innovations that occurred mid-century played out in the daily lives of farmers, ranchers, and townspeople across the Great Plains.

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FOR THE LOVE OF

THEIR HORSES...

Jackie on Goldie, Mom on

Buttermilk, and Janine

on Ginger, 1958

Jackie: "I INHERITED MY LOVE of horses from Mom....Since she had come from a horse-owning background, I think she might have encouraged Dad to purchase a...horse for me. When Lady came into my life, I was in the sixth grade. After school, I would change clothes, grab a snack, and jump on Lady’s back. If I’d had a tough day, Lady would listen intently to my rantings and somehow, I’d feel better." (page 136)

Janine: "MY EXPERIENCE WITH HORSES was less than pleasurable. Ginger, my Ginger...was my rascally ginger-colored Shetland pony gelding. We were bonded together with a love-hate relationship. This Shetland pony was undeniably docile as a kitten but indeed had a mind of his own. Jackie and I crawled underneath his belly and in between his front legs. We slid off his rump. Jackie, who was much more skilled in acrobatics than me, even leaped over his rump in order to ride on his back, emulating the television cowboys! Ginger was nonchalant about all of that. With his velvety nose smelling my outstretched hand, he was always eager to accept sugarcube treats anytime they were offered." (page 137)

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"I started reading the book and could not put it down. I loved it. Being from Menoken and knowing your parents, the stories were so much fun to read....Your parents were such great people. When I was in 4-H, I would go to your mom for help with my projects. They were wonderful neighbors. Thanks for writing such a great book."

—Connie Salter Heaton

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MORE PRAISE...

"I was born and raised...on a farm near Cavalier. I now live in Calgary, Alberta. I love where I live but my heart is, also, in ND....I can connect with so much of what you share in  your book. My sisters and I did many of the same things! A wonderful trip down memory lane...a great book!"

—Edie Marie B.

Loved every page! I can't wait  until your grandkids are grown and read it while experiencing life in their era....I remember visiting your farm as a kid. This really brought it to life!

—Taryn K.

You did a fantastic job on presenting history that kept the book moving and also entertaining. The thing that impressed me is that the Windmill keeps referring to the quality of life and the family values and hard, responsible lessons you learned that the Midwest is so noted for. Also, that faith was so important in so many families.

—Karal B.

"I started reading the book and could not put it down. I loved it. Being from Menoken and knowing your parents, the stories were so much fun to read....Your parents were such great people. When I was in 4-H, I would go to your mom for help with my projects. They were wonderful neighbors. Thanks for writing such a great book."

—Connie H.

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

—Kathleen B.

While the Windmill Watched provides such great insight into the skills that were developed in our families and rural communities in that time. It's not as prevalent now due to all the distractions that exist in life, but there was so much value in it. The story captured the sense of community that was built then. I truly enjoyed the book, not just because there's a long history between our two families but because it illustrated such valuable principles.

—Doug Goehring, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner