Thursday, March 25, 2010

Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I was a little girl, I watched "Little House on the Prairie" religiously.  I loved that show.  I played "Little House on the Prairie" in my backyard, complete with pretending I fell like Carrie does in the opening credits, and rolling down the hill.  When I was in fourth grade, I read the entire series, then read "On the Way Home" and "West from Home".  I have since read all of the travel diaries and several biographies.  I love her.  I love how sassy she is, how she thinks naughty thoughts even after her mother tells her not to; I love how she is a tomboy and how she speaks her mind.

When A was three or four, I bought the first season on DVD, then every year for Christmas, I bought another season.  I loved sharing the television series with my girls and they LOVE to watch it.  It is actually a show that our whole family enjoys together.  Jason had not watched it as a child, he says he thought it was a dorky girl show, but now he says that he really enjoys it!  Of course, there is one episode, where Laura helps an old neighbor clean his house and she is just painfully honest with the guy, my husband loves to bring this up, because, he says, "Apparently this is who you modeled yourself after!"  I've been known to be very honest, even when my opinion is not needed or wanted. I am working on it.

Now, I am re-reading the series with the girls.  We are all enjoying it immensely.  A few years ago, they were Mary and Laura for Halloween and my mom made them calico dresses, which they still dress up in, grab these metal pails my parents got them and dash around the backyard, pretending they live back then!

Laura was way ahead of her time, having been firm with the minister when she married Almanzo Wilder that he MUST leave "obey" out of the marital vows.  She was not going to say obey; she would not obey her husband.  "To thine ownself be true!"

When I was a child, I loved the simplicity of their lives.  I loved the idea of making the clothes, building the house...I knew it was work, but it seemed so much more simple and peaceful than our lives today.

Now, when I read how they lost their crops or how after contracting diphtheria, Manly had to walk with a cane for the rest of his life.  When I read about their tremendous debt on the land (Pa warned Almanzo!) and then how the kitchen burns makes me realize that if they could survive all of that...surely we are stronger than we think, surely we will prevail!