Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Re-Reading Laura Ingalls Wilder

One thing I brought back to Edmonton with me after Christmas was my collection of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books. If you haven't read them, you've been missing out!

I love to read through them whenever I get the chance, and I've started over again with Little House in the Big Woods. Of the books, my favourites are probably Big Woods and Farmer Boy. Farmer Boy is the story of Almonzo's boyhood--a lot of people have never read it, but it's a real gem, and quite different from the other stories, in that Almonzo grew up on a successful working farm in New York State. He also had enough to eat growing up, which sets his story apart from Laura's as well!

In re-reading the books I'm constantly amazed by things I didn't really understand the first time I had them read to me. As a child, it never really occured to me just how poor Laura's family was. When I re-read Little House on the Prairie, By the Shores of Silver Lake and The Long Winter in highschool I realized for the first time that they were practically starving throughout all three books (literally starving in The Long Winter). Looking back I'm really amazed that Laura not only survived her childhood, but went on to write incredibly upbeat books about it!

On a slightly different (but still related) note, I've been trying to be a bit more organized lately, and I'm thinking of tweaking Ma Ingall's little poem on household management to make it fit into my life:

"Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday."
--Ma, in Little House in the Big Woods

Now, I'm lucky to be married to someone who does the ironing for me (I would burn everything!) so that means I'll need to find another activity for Tuesday. Also, churning butter is no longer necessary in this day and age, so...I think I'll be baking on Tuesday and cleaning on Thursday which leaves Friday and Saturday for me!


Thorsprincess said...

We loved reading these stories together as a family. Those stories of life on the frontier were often comforting and reassuring to us who, like many families today, may worry about bills and health, jobs and security, but rarely suffer true hunger and privation. I think the greatest values we found in these books, aside from their excellent writing and practical lessons about how many things were done in the past, are about how family relationships are built and nurtured. Each family member brought important gifts of love, service, kindness, and sacrifice--gifts that required neither money nor talent. Even the baby contributed joy and opportunity for the family to grow closer. Hardships and disagreements were opportunities for new lessons about the rewards of love and sacrifice. These stories also emphasized the importance of being good neighbors,friends, and citizens. Above all, as we listened to Daddy read these books to us each night before bedtime, we were all learning to be grateful for our blessings, and learning how to be better parents and children, as we learned to treasure our family as the most important and most difficult of relationships we will ever know. I can still see my two lovely daughters, lying on the living room rug in their sweet flannel nightgowns, elbows propped on pillows, eagerly attentive to Daddy's voice in the soft evening lamplight. I will treasure those memories forever. Momma

Fete et Fleur said...

Hi Meggie! Thank you for stopping by today and your kind comment on the shoes.

I peeked at your other blog too. I have completely changed to organic skin care and makeup products. I was having the worst problems with my makeup especially around the eyes just like you. If you have a Whole Foods near you I would go experiment in their cosmetics department.

Blessings! Nancy

zandria said...

I haven't read those books since I was young, but believe me, I read them OVER AND OVER back then. I bet those memories would come flooding back quickly if I cracked that binding... :)

I got to your website after I saw a comment you posted on one of my posts at BlogHer. Nice site!