The evil blog monster deleted my post the other day. It published the title of my post, but ate the body! I don’t know why! So, I’m typing very quietly and hoping the blog monster won’t hear me this time.
One of my fondest childhood memories is of my mom sitting in the hallway between my room and my brothers’ room reading to us at bedtime. She would read us all kinds of chapter books, like the Mother West Wind series and the Little House on the Prairie series and we would always beg her to read “just a little bit longer”.
So, when my children were born, I picked up the torch and continued the tradition. Together, my kids have read through Mother West Wind and her Children, Chatter the Red Squirrel, Winnie the Pooh, about half of the Chronicles of Narnia series and are now working on the Little House stories.
As a kid, I loved hearing these stories, but as an adult, I find them even more fascinating. I feel like I’m gaining an education just from reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. What I have learned so far:
1) Everything was better when Pa played his fiddle.
2) If you pour molasses over a pan full of snow and let it harden, you have a fun candy for kids.
3) I would not want to have to feed a growing boy who wakes up at 5:00 in the morning and works hard on the farm all day. Oh my goshes, that is one hungry boy!
4) Almanzo’s dad knew how to work the land. He worked hard all year round and knew how to be successful at farming. When it snowed 6 inches before the first hard frost, he had his son till the snow into the ground as “poor man’s fertilizer”. And when they harvested the crops, they knew how to make produce last all winter long, without chemicals!
5) Ma Ingalls knew how to trust her man. Pa moved her away from her family and comfort zone, but she followed him without complaint. When wild cats screeched during the night and Indians chanted war chants for days on end, she trusted him to keep the safe. When she planted her garden at their new home on the prairie and the next day he told her they were moving, she trusted him and followed him. She trusted him to provide their food (by hunting and planting), shelter (by cutting the trees and building the house and furniture and digging the well) and livelihood (he built their wagon, traded for horses, oxen or whatever else they needed, etc.). She was a courageous woman.
6) I often think it would have been fun to live during the pioneer days, but I know in my heart I am just to satisfied with my modern comforts!