Country Style - Living the Farm Life



This book is a collection of Country Style columns which were written for a County weekly newspaper in the late 1960's. It light- heartedly records the daily events of farm life then. It shows how the farm animals entertained us with their antics and burdened us with concern for their welfare. These animals added a warm feeling to farm life, and put the heart in farming. The columns reflect the seasons on the farm, especially planting and harvest. 

Now farming has changed. During the last fifty years, there has been an exodus of the milk cows, pigs and chickens from the majority of farmsteads. This has left today's farms with only complicated giant machinery. 

May this book recall for you the days of milk cows, pigs, chickens and lambs, and leave you once again with the warm feeling of those days. Each column ends with a brief comment on God's importance in our lives.

This book would be of interest to anyone who has lived on a farm or is interested in the rural lifestyle.


Cover Drawing and Illustrations by Doris Stensland








December 21, 1967



Some things haven't changed too much in 1,900 years. We can still see flocks of sheep grazing on the hillsides. Shepherds have been replaced by fences, but sheep still need someone to look after them and see that they are in a safe place at night. 

Today there is not much danger from wild animals, but many a sheep has been lost when strange dogs get to frolicking among them. 

Our woolly trio has to mingle with the cows. They tag along to the cornfield and are part of the procession when they come back to the barnyard. While the cows are being milked they sneak over to the feed bunks and lunch on the cow's silage. They seem to hold their own in this predominately bovine community. 


BABIES AND Christmas go together. 

No gift is greater prized at Christmas time...or on any day...than a baby's smile. Especially if it's a new granddaughter's! 

Like a rose it unfolds. The sweet rosebud mouth quickly opens to full flower, giving us heavenly delight. 

This little spontaneous act can melt your heart and make you respond by feeling deeply love-indebted to this precious bundle of angel sweetness. 



Oh, farmer folk, 

Let your heart sing out, 

For you know what Christmas 

Is all about. 


'Twas to farmer folk keeping 

watch by night 

That angels came in glory bright. 


You've seen a manger, 

and tended sheep: 

You know the quietness 

when animals sleep. 


It was in a barn 

where livestock stayed, 

where cobwebs hung 

and donkeys brayed: 

There in a dim and dusty stall 

Was born the Lord and King of all! 


Oh, farmer folk, 

Let your voice ring out; 

Tell the world what 

Christmas is all about! 






Country Style heading - B&W  


December 28, 1967


Before Christmas everyone was busy "decorating"...Christmas trees, cookies and packages. 

Mother Nature decided to try her hand at it too and she really went overboard. She went to work on the trees and glazed each twig and every branch. She made intricate designs out of weeds and grasses. The iced woven wire fences were done in ornamental filigree. 

Looking out on this decorated world, it reminded me of a beautifully decorated wedding cake - with dreamy peaks and showy artistry. 

But she was careless when doing her decorating and the spilled icing underfoot wasn't appreciated by anyone. 

There was more than one dairyman who would gladly have traded this winter wonderland for a day in May as he sat alongside the cows, milking "by hand" because the electricity was off. When you aren't in practice those arm muscles tire in a hurry! 


EVERY FAMILY observes Christmas in a different way. Some have their activities on Christmas Eve; others wait until Christmas day. 

Some families always have lutefisk and lefse; others enjoy oyster stew or plum pudding. These traditions weave past and present into one happy tune. 


IF YOU considered ham for Christmas dinner, you probably got to wondering what happened to the pig after you sold it at 18 cents a pound. that could make ham worth more than 90 cents a pound. 



Was the pig sent on a expensive excursion around the world...or did Midas touch it and make it pure gold? 


Christmas is - greetings...and hospitality...and family,,,and excite-ment. But through it all we are aware of its true meaning and each year the blessed story grows more dear to us. 




Oh, lowly barn, 

Tonight you softly beckon me 

To pause in your abode. 


No decorated palace this... 

No dainty nursery here. 


I probe the Christmas mysteries: 

My voice breaks through the  


"Why would He leave a heavenly  


To come to earth for this?" 


Then a soft sound answers me, 

A pigeon's kindly coo. 

It so clearly enunciates... 

"For you! For you!" 

And cows and kittens join the  


"For you! For you!"   


II Cor. 8:9 "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich."  



milking pail stool - b&w  








December 25, 1969



The days pass so quickly in December that we sometimes wonder if we are being short-changed. Are there really twenty-four sixty-minute hours in each December day? 

Before Christmas we need long days in order to get everything accomplished, and when Christmas is here and the family is together, we wish the days would never end. The only way we can lengthen them is by turning them into happy memories that can be relived, remembered and enjoyed at later times.   


"HE'S JUST a old farmer!" 

We've all heard this remark, and to some people farming is about as high on the totem pole of professions as sheep herding was nineteen hundred years ago. Tending sheep was a lowly occupation in those days. And yet, it is the shepherds that we sing about every Christmas - not the tentmakers or the shop-keepers or the fishermen. It is the shepherds that have a prominent place in the Christmas story. 

Both shepherds and farmers are not beyond believing in miracles. Each year they see their seeds and animals multiply and the dead black earth turn to green feed for their animals. 


Shepherds had to be brave. They kept watch on their sheep twenty-four hours a day, and they had no guns with which to shoot prowling animals. They had to rely upon their own strength, their rod and staff, and perhaps a faithful dog.

The shepherds were humble people, and had no grand illusions about their occupation. But we shouldn't sell the shepherds short. 


SUPPOSE . . . . 

While caring for your pigs one  

night an angel host appeared, 

would you be scared? 

IF . . . . . 

They announced a Savior's birth and invited you to see, 

would you go immediately? 

WHEN . . . .  

You had gazed upon the baby's face and your heart was all aglow, 

would you let your whole world know? 

The Shepherds did. 


May your Christmas end as happily as the shepherds' Christmas.  

"And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." Luke 2:20 







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