On Aug. 2, 1909, I arrived to join the happy family living on the Evergreen farm. My first memories happened after we moved to the Geo. Hay farm. I recall the new house that was built and how we girls patterned our playhouses in the grove north of the house after it. The large double swing hung from a large tree gracing the driveway was a constant enjoyment to us. Ofttimes, on Sunday afternoons we would go to the schoolyard and listen to the Methodists sing--I still remember the words to many of the songs. The gypsies used to come by asking for milk, eggs and whatever they decided they wanted, Mom kept us in the house and Dad kept watch over his animals and equipment. I also remember having a pitchfork thrust into one foot, accidentally. Perg threw it from a hayrack and I happened to be in the way, No infection set in--thanks to Mom's care and peroxide,
Our trip to Washington was fun for us kids--I recall the curving mountain roads, mountain passes, sleeping in the car some nights, ferryboats and many other exciting events. At Garberg's, we climbed hills, went to a movie, visited a saw mill and ate gobs of apples. The train ride back to Lake Preston was a thrill for me. The following winter when we were living on the Nelson farm, we had to go to the Jensen school. I'll never forget the day when I crossed the ice-coated ditch in answer to the recess bell. Into the icy water I fell. The teacher kept me close to the heater until one of the Jensen boys went home for a horse and buggy to take me home. No ill effects but much teasing.
The next spring we moved to the Fred Werner farm about a mile from town. One thing I remember is how we kids would race up and down on the roofs of the 8 buildings which were connected. This was done when Mom & Dad went to town. It seems the "flu" hit all of us about the same time but I had a light case of it. When the war was over and Fred returned, he wanted to live on his farm so we had to move. This time it was seven miles south of town--the Conrad Nelson place. It was beautiful with a huge yard, groves and groves of trees and the farm buildings were separated from the house by a road. During the summer, we ate in the summer kitchen and one day I was trying to be helpful setting the table. I grasped more plates than I could handle and down to the floor they fell--12 plates broken but I can't recall a spanking. Another time, at dusk, we were playing hide & seek and I ran into the clothesline gashing one cheek. Our long walks to school and our experiences in country school have many memories.
In 1922, we moved to the Jarman farm east of Lake Preston. We lived here the longest with pleasant memories galore. We had a large apple and plum orchard---many varieties of each and we always had plenty of delicious jelly, jam and sauce. We spent many hours playing in the hay mow, swimming in the water tank, sleighing in the wintertime--We would hitch two and three sleds to one of Dad's precious horses and away we would go. The tire merry-go-round swing was such fun, also. However, we were older now and we had to help Dad in the fields and with the chores. Bucking hay was one job I detested but plowing corn was fun. Three and four of us would be cultivating at the same time and we would always race to see who would reach the end of the row first. Walking to High School five miles a day for 4 years kept me trim & healthy, Bern was my companion the first two years and I remember Charlotte Boe walking some of the time with us but I think we were too fast for her.
Upon graduating from H.S., I enrolled at Augustana--had earned a small scholarship for being Valedictorian of my class. I enjoyed my four years at Augustana but had to study and work hard. I met so many wonderful people and have many pleasant memories. After graduating in 1931, I finished a year for a teacher in Canton but jobs were scarce so when Brownells moved to Rapid City, they asked me along to assist at the station and their home...business was poor and they moved to Aberdeen. I remained in Rapid and began working as bookkeeper for The Baumgartner Electric Shop in 1933 and continued there until 1945, really enjoying this type of work. I intended to mention that two of the years at A.C, I lived with Ann & Lud which I really appreciated and enjoyed.
We working girls had lots of good times--one was a trip to southern Calif. We took the northern route out and returned the southern route seeing so much of our beautiful country. (Lil was on this trip, too) Another trip I made was to the Luther League Convention in 1939--a college friend, Laura, went with me. In 1939, I met Leonard Ronneberg and we were married on May 21, 1943 in Los Angeles. Lil was my bridesmaid. Rodney Leonard arrived Sept. 4, 1945 while we were living in Rapid City, S.D. That following winter, Leonard and a cousin were leasing a filling station between Lead & Deadwood and one night as Leonard returned to his car from dinner, a man aimed a gun at him and ordered him to get in and drive him out of town. It was Geo. Sitts who had murdered several men and was being hunted. Fortunately, he let Leonard go but he took the car. He was caught, tried and convicted. When it was over, Leonard was a nervous wreck, the station was forgotten and we continued living in Rapid until January of 1947, when we moved to Lead, S.D. Living in Lead was quite an experience--hilly streets, houses built with the lower story below street levels and the necessity to climb stairs from one street to another. We well remember the blizzard of 1949 and were isolated several days. Eric Donald arrived in July of 1947 and Grandma Rodvold came to help us. We spent many happy Sundays with the Ungers and fishing trips in the Canyons. The Thomassens lived here for a short time, also.
In August of 1952, we moved to Longmont, Co. and are still living at 324 Lincoin St. The years passed by quickly as the boys were growing up--we all were involved in school, church and scout activities. I was a Den Mother for 8 years and have just completed 25 years as a S.S. Supt. It seemed Leonard was always a Cubmaster, scoutmaster, choir director, S.S. teacher, etc. Rod and Eric played in our school bands from the 5th grade through H.S. Rod graduated in 1963 and Eric in 1965. Rod chose CSU in Ft. Collins and Eric CU in Boulder for their college education. Cathy joined our family when she & Rod were married during Rod's Jr. year in College. It was in Dec. of 1966 that tragedy struck--Leonard passed away quickly with a massive coronary heart attack. This was such a traumatic shock to all of us. As with others, the Lord was with us, giving us the faith, strength & courage to carry on. Rod graduated from CSU in 1967 and began working for the Noble Co. in Denver, continuing there for 4 years. Christena and Jon Leonard arrived in '66 and '68 to complete our family circle. After working in the business world, Rod still felt he belonged in the Ministry. In August of 1971, he and his family left for Gettysburg, Pa. where he entered the Seminary in Sept. In May, 1975 he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained June 29th, 1975. This is the beginning of his fourth year as Pastor of Second Lutheran Church in Chambersburg, Pa. as he served as their Pastor during his senior year.
Eric graduated from CU in 1970 and entered the service that fall. He received his discharge in January of 1971 and upon returning to Longmont in Feb. began teaching instrumental music in our school system. He has been Band Director of H.S., Jr. H.S. and Elementary bands at different schools but this fall will teach only Elementary Bands at three of our schools in Longmont. During the years while teaching, he has played in the Longmont and Boulder Symphony Orchestras and with a Brass Quintet. During the summers, he has taught beginning band and went to summer school one summer. He is contemplating studying for a Master's Degree or changing professions.
In 1958, I went back to work--part time until 1962 when I became full time bookkeeper for a Lumber Co. I am still there but the ownership has changed three times. It is now the Wickes Corp.--world wide and computerized. You would be appalled at the amount of "paper work" involved. However, it is good to keep busy. As a family we made many happy trips to So. Dak. and Calif. I recall with pleasure all the visits with members of our families. Now I am joyfully anticipating seeing all of you at our third reunion in August. You are all very dear to me and thanks for all the memories. God bless you-all always.
Love & prayers,