Life on a Farm in Denmark, 1938-39

From my dad’s journal of memories: a story from his life when he worked as a farmhand in Denmark.

My Uncle Erik’s Farm

My uncle Erik’s farm was a mile from Carl Sorensen’s and half a mile from the beach. Come fall of 1938 I moved there to work together with my brother Knud for the following year.

That first winter was an ice winter and we farmhands were drafted to keep roads open and get the mail through with horses and sleigh. The latter became Knud’s job while I was slaving on the road with snow removal together with at least fifty or sixty men of all stripes.

Our cousins, Hans, Moller, Aase, Gurli, and later Solveigh were a happy playful bunch of kids who kept life from getting dull.

In my opinion the highlights of the farm were the Oldenborg horses, the meadows near a creek on the eastside and a small forest around there which is what gave the farm the name ‘Rubenlund’.

Dad's painting of horses running through a riverThere were songbirds like the nightingale with probably the most beautiful songs of all birds, predators like foxes that burrowed into the banks along the creek and fish like Steelhead spawning in the creek.

The summer there was just glorious and I was introduced to handball, target shooting, ring riding and dancing and we often biked to the beach, noon and evenings for a swim.

I will backtrack a little and tell about an interesting geological feature that piqued my curiosity. It was a vein of pure hydrated lime near the creek and higher up along the creek, brick ovens full of bricks, put there hundreds of years ago by monks likely for building a church and maybe they had to give up on the project.

I was 18 years old that year so it had to be 1939. Jewish people swarmed into the country from Germany where Hitler’s Nazis were giving them a tough time.

We had no bias towards them and a small store keeper in town who was a Jew often invited us in to play cards so we found them very friendly and easy to get along with.

In the winter of 1940 I suffered from wanderlust so I looked for another job and found that on a potato farm 15 miles inland.

More of My Dad’s Paintings.

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