The title of the book is taken from a Norwegian folk song, ” A kjore vatten, aa kjore ve” that almost every older Norwegian can sing.
The song, “A kjore vatten, aa kjore ve” is translated …
Haul the Water and haul the wood
and haul the lumber over the hill!
Let everyone haul what they like to haul;
I’ll haul that girl of mine!
I love the pretty girls
with the rosy cheeks and blue eyes.
And when I get the one I want,
then it is fun to live.
Haul the Water, Haul the Wood has sold 12,000 copies since it was first printed in 1977. The book is history told in an interesting manner.
Ole went on. “I am making plans to go to Amerika. In fact, I am on my way home from Gjovik where I booked passage for next May. I would like your permission to marry Johanna before I go”
After a few moments of thought, Mr. Narum slowly answered.
“Well, now, Ole. I have nothing against you and Johanna getting married, but this crazy Amerika talk doesn’t set very well with me.”
“I suppose one of these days he’ll be sailing away. Why can’t you and Johanna just get married and live here in Toten?”
Ole’s heart sank. He realized it wasn’t going to be as easy as he had hoped. This older generation just couldn’t understand the Amerika idea.
“Now, Ole, the way I see it, with your older brother Hans married and working in Valdres, you will probably have first chance at the Overseth gaard some day. Why don’t you wait? It is such a fine gaard; it should be enough to keep you here. You will not find anything like that in Amerika.”
Johanna looked around at all of her loved ones, and remembered the times she had been lonely in this country. Now Ole and she had more of their families in America than they had back in Norway. She had received the news that her two brothers Peter Anthon and Martinus Narum had come over in 1878, and they were in St. Peter, Minnesota, and with Christian.
Now here in Dakota Territory, she had Klara and her family, cousin Peder Dyste and his wife, Elena, and Ole’s two brothers, Pete, and Johannes and his wife Inge Marie.
Johanna had a feeling the hard, lonely days were behind her. Now their lives were becoming more civilized with stores as close by as Eden, and Ole had been progressing very well in his farming operations.