Thursday, November 10, 2005

I Love Little House

We have been reading the Little House on the Prairie Series with the daughters since the summer. Right now we are nearly finished with Little Town on the Prairie, the third book from the end of the series.

I LOVED these books when I was young. I can not tell you how many times I read each one, but it was several. Somehow though, I never managed to own a set of the books, until shortly after my beloved and I were married, he bought me a GORGEOUS leather bound set for my birthday. I read them all again immediately after, and picked them up a few times here and there since.

This time reading them through with my daughters has been just as enjoyable as every other time I have read the books. It is interesting to see how my thoughts and perspectives on the stories have changed now that I am an adult and a parent.

It is hard for me to imagine and harder still for my children to imagine the life Laura led. This was a girl who was thrilled and thought she was incredibly lucky to get a tin cup and a penny for Christmas. She was ecstatic about getting an orange at a party, and was sad that she could not take it home to share with her family. An entire winter was spent eating nothing but brown bread and potatoes, and they had to grind the wheat for the bread, because no trains could get through due to blizzards that started in October and lasted through April with only a day or two between storms. Things we can not even fathom, and certainly would not take even half as well as she and her family, because complaining was not tolerated.

I also find it interesting to see the huge difference between Almanzo and Laura's upbringing. If you ever read Farmer Boy which is entirely about Almanzo when he was a young boy, the descriptions of the meals he and his family ate are incredible. I can not imagine putting on this kind of spread three times a day, let alone on a wood fired cookstove.

Some things have been difficult to read to the girls, mainly some of the not so kind references to Native Americans as Ma hated them, and a description of a minstrel show was a little hard to get through as well. It does help promote good discussion about diversity at least.

All and all this has been a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend time with #1 and #2. If you have children, I highly recommend these books as they provide so much to talk about. If you don't, give them a read just because they are good, and classics among children's literature.

My big dream now is to go and visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder homes in Missouri and South (or is it North?) Dakota.


dan g said...

If I ever have kids, and that's something I find very hard to imagine, I look forward to reading the Harry Potter series and scaring the bejesus out of them.

So maybe it's good that I find it hard to imagine having children.

Ali said...

I LOVE THOSE BOOKS! I re-read These Happy Golden Years last Christmas and was just as excited about Almanzo showing up at the horrible schoolmaster's house as I was when I was 9. And I always think about the winters when she was a kid and how the blankets would FREEZE. And poor ma having to be the first one up each morning to start the fire...

Did you know that Laura actually wanted to date Cap Garland? They left it out of the books but she took quite a shine to him. I found photos of him - good lookin' guy. Unfortunately he was killed at 25 by a boiler explosion (there's a pretty gruesome first-hand account if you do a google search).

Ted Carter said...

Kayla is soooo disappointed that she couldn't get Bailey interested in these. Who knows, maybe Alex will be interested... Nah!