While he was farming, Don Muenchow of rural Wood Lake would always be thinking.
And those thoughts would form into poetry.
Muenchow recently had a book of his poetry, "Country Poet" published. The book contains 142 poems that he's written throughout his life.
Pictured is the front cover of Don Muenchow’s collection of poems that he had recently published. Although he thought the book would be just for his children and grandchildren, he said he’s been surprised at the response it’s gotten.
Muenchow said he'd be coming up with poems when he was younger.
"I've been doing that when I was a kid, when we'd be farming and on the tractor," Muenchow said. And when you're in the combine for up to 12 hours a day, you have plenty of time to think, he said.
"Years ago, you didn't have radios in cars, so you made up poems," he added.
But Muenchow never wrote down any of his poems when he was growing up. He continued to farm, taking care of animals and harvesting crops until 2000 when he retired.
That's when Muenchow decided to get those poems he formed in his head so long ago down on paper. He took Extension classes on poetry writing and also had some of his works published in the Senior Perspective.
Muenchow said he mainly wrote about hunting and fishing trips, animals and weather. Once he started writing the poems down, he also touched upon the war in Iraq and 9/11.
"You'd see it on TV and stuff and hear about it and you'd just write it down,"?he said. "(It) 9/11 was a very bad thing."
Before long, he had enough material to put together an entire book.
"I had many pages in notebooks, (so I thought) 'might as well have a book,'" Muenchow said. "I didn't think it would amount to much." Muenchow figured he would just give the book to his kids and grandkids.
"I'm sure there would've been another 150 pages if I'd remember everything," Muenchow said.
Muenchow said some of his poems do have rhymes as he tries to figure out what works.
"It's something I've always done," he said. "I?try to use a word that means something when I write the poems."
Muenchow relied on the help of his friend, Van Gooch, a retired professor from the University of Minnesota, Morris, to get the book published.
"He did the whole thing for me," Muenchow said. "He found a place in Arkansas and had it done there."
When he asked Gooch how much he "owed him," Gooch said not to "worry about it," Muenchow said.
He had a small run of his books and has just 24 left. They are available at the Village Court in Cottonwood, Styles Unlimited, First Independent Bank and Shandee's C Store in Wood Lake and the Co-op office in Echo.