The Quiet Season
Remembering Country Winters
“As I think back to the days of my childhood, the frost-covered windows in my bedroom,
the frigid walks to the country school, the excitement of a blizzard, and a hundred other memories, I realize that these experiences left an indelible mark on me and made me who I am today.”—From the Introduction
Jerry Apps recalls winters growing up on a farm in central Wisconsin during the latter years of the Depression and through World War II. Before electricity came to this part of Waushara County, farmers milked cows by hand with the light of a kerosene lantern, woodstoves heated the drafty farm homes, and “making wood” was a major part of every winter’s work. The children in Jerry’s rural community walked to a country school that was heated with a woodstove and had no indoor plumbing. Wisconsin winters then were a time of reflection, of planning for next year, and of families drawing together. Jerry describes how winter influenced farm families and suggests that those of us who grow up with harsh northern winters are profoundly affected in ways we often are not aware.