Remembering Rosie: Memories of a Wisconsin Farm Girl
Setting – Wisconsin
Page Publishing, Inc. (June 22, 2021)
Paperback : 220 pages
ISBN-10 : 1662430507
ISBN-13 : 978-1662430503
Kindle ASIN : B08Z5FZ8GD
Remembering Rosie is about Block’s childhood on a Wisconsin dairy farm in the mid-twentieth century. Growing up on the homestead with her parents and siblings was often idyllic. Still, it never stopped Block from dreaming of making a different life for herself despite many obstacles she’d face in trying to leave the land her German great-grandparents settled in the 1880s.
Block and her siblings experienced long hours of tedious and dangerous work. Educational opportunities were limited, and the Ludwig children’s one-room school had poorly trained teachers and few books. There was no expectation of girls going on to higher education. Block’s observations of her depressive mother, the drudgery of farm life, and the short, cruel lives of farm animals were driving forces that made her take a path less followed. During a time when going against the grain was difficult, Block’s restlessness and desire to see a world outside her sheltered community catapulted her into a life that the blue-eyed, blond-haired farm girl never could have imagined.
Nadine Block grew up on a family farm in Medford Wisconsin. Within the pages of this book, she shares her family’s history, her memories, and the way rural life made her who she is today.
I am definitely an advocate for recording family history for future generations so I was happy to read Nadine’s account. She gives a true look at farm life in the 1950s with a look back at how her family first came to Wisconsin. I was disappointed when I learned the identity of Rosie but that was clearly a major point in the author’s life. She also went into some depth about a company she and her husband had that imported quilts from China. I felt this really took away from the folksy feel of the book. I wish she just would have ended the chapter with her memories of the quilts and quilting bees from her time on the farm.
I enjoyed her stories about electricity coming to the farm and listening to the radio, the chores each member of the family had. I wasn’t born until 1961 but I remember the clothes hanging out on the line in cold weather. Sheets and clothes coming back into the house frozen stiff and having to be thawed and allowed to dry again before anything could be done with them. I also identified with the strictness of the Catholic religion of the time. I was touched by the way got her mother to reveal some interesting facts about her life too. Good ole brandy, tee hee.
I wish my family would have had someone write down our history. My mother and father took so many stories with them when they passed. This book is a treasure for the author’s family and I am sure will be greatly appreciated by future generations of her family for years to come. Those looking for some Wisconsin history from this timeframe will find some nice little nuggets too.
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About the Author
Nadine Block has ceaselessly and successfully fought for children’s rights for more than three decades. She was a teacher, a school psychologist, and the founder and director of a non-profit organization that fought to end school corporal punishment. She led a group of 50 statewide organizations in getting a ban on school corporal punishment in OH in 2009. In her retirement, she continues to support ending corporal punishment of children through writing and personal contacts. She believes that children have the right all adults have to be free from physical harm.
Block has published three books, This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You: Children Share in Words and Pictures How Spanking Hurts and What To Do Instead (2011) and Breaking the Paddle: Ending School Corporal Punishment (2013). She privately published Our Family, Wisconsin Pioneers, and many stories for her grandchildren using personal travel photos and illustrations, including ” Casey the Cat in Kathmandu” and ” Corey the Camel in Timbuktu.”
Block’s latest book is Remembering Rosie: Memories of a Wisconsin Farm Girl. Page Publishing Inc. 2020
Her website and blog is at www.nadineblock.com
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”