At Woodstone, we want to hear about your life before moving into our community. Every single one of our residents are so special to us. We truly enjoy getting to learn more about their lives and hobbies. Understanding their background and what makes them who they are today is crucial to us, as everyone has a different story and we can all learn something from one another. We are here to listen and spread their story. Here’s Rosemary and Willard Anderson’s story…
In the beginning
Rosemary and Willard first started out their marriage by purchasing 80 acres of farmland. They said, “Right away we started farming with nothing, no equipment or animals”. Eventually, they bought more land and lived on a farm where they owned 350 acres and rented two other lands to farm on. Their farm was 12 miles east of Lafayette, MN and was in what they said was the perfect area. Their farm continued to grow with both land and animals over the years. At the farm they had 5 steers, 100 pigs, 5 tractors, and 600 acres that they farmed soybeans and corn on. To feed their animals, they would bail road ditch hay for their animals. In addition to both of them living on the farm, Willard’s mother also lived on the farm land in a trailer. At their personal farm, they split their chores and farm duties between the two of them. Willard would focus on doing all of the field work at the farm whereas Rosemary would keep up the garden.
Willard took pride in how straight he could make the rows when he was farming the land. Willard loves talking about all of the farming he has done over the course of his life and was telling us about how he had 4 bins that would hold 1,200 bushels each and another 4 bins that would hold 3,000 bushels as well. He was an incredibly hard worker and took his farming duties very seriously. Long, fluctuating hours away from home while having a family that you want to spend time with and being a great husband is something difficult for anyone to navigate, but is a typical life of a farmer, and Willard navigated it with ease and was able to do it all. Even living in Minnesota, the colder weather never stopped him from working hard and he even got his combine stuck in snow one year when there was a snow storm during harvest. Now that is dedication! Farming is not an easy skill, and Willard would take that challenge on a daily basis and enjoyed doing it along the way and providing for his family.
When they got married, Willard was initially on furlough. Four days after their wedding, he was sent to report for duty and was gone for fifteen months. While Willard was gone, Rosemary saved up the monthly payments that she got monthly from her pension. She saved up enough money to purchase an 18 ft. trailer when Willard returned. Eventually, they had their two children that grew up living in the same trailer.
Since Willard was always working on farming, Rosemary took on the challenge of gardening. Rosemary had a huge garden that measured to be around 20 ft. x 30 ft. She gardened and canned beans, carrots, tomatoes, and beets. All of the vegetables that she gardened were used to make meals throughout the week for their family. Using the vegetables, she would make different types of jellies and jams. She was known for her specialty grape jelly that was made from beet juice. In addition to jams and jellies, she would also make homemade salsa from her fresh vegetables that came straight from the garden. She would share her homemade treats with friends and families. She said they absolutely loved it all and looked forward to it every year! In total, she gardened for 35 years. If you have any gardening questions, feel free to ask her! Rosemary is a great example of how you can have a hobby and use it practically by feeding your family, spending time outdoors, and sharing your gifts with your family and friends.
Where they are at now…
After living on the farm for years, they ended up getting an unbelievable offer on the farm, and decided they couldn’t pass it up. They made the tough decision to sell their farm for approximately $3,000 an acre. Both Rosemary and Willard enjoyed everything about the farm life. They felt that they served a great purpose on their farm and loved every second of it. They both wish that they could still be on the farm, even today but have enjoyed their transition to Woodstone. They made so many special memories on the farm with their family, and even after 69 years of marriage, they continue to reflect on those long lasting memories and the great times that were had. They should be proud of their accomplishments, we are!