I grew up reading “” books in the early 70s. I was enthralled by Laura and Mary Ingall’s and their life in the 1870’s and 1880’s. I remember the hardscrabble and hand-to-mouth conditions they lived in. One particular story stands out in my memory even now, 40 years later. It was the story of how one Christmas they almost didn’t get their Christmas Candy because of a blizzard. In those times, children were allowed sugar very sparingly because it was so expensive and they only received store bought candy once a year, on Christmas. This particular Christmas there was no way Santa was going to be able to visit and bring their candy because of the snow. But the girl’s neighbor and parent’s friend made the trip into town and nearly died delivering the candy. Today we take it for granted that we have food as near as the local grocery store and in such an amazing abundance.
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My own family was certainly not a well-to-do family, but even as a child I knew we had it so much easier than Laura and her family. The descriptions of their homestead, clothing, and food were sparse. But they didn’t appear to lack love. In that respect they were very rich. Nor did they lack education. Their parents made it a priority and they walked miles into to town to attend school.
Laura grew up, married, and became a teacher and a writer. She was a woman of immense talent and insight. This quote is one of my favorites because decades later, it’s still applicable. I thank her for many, many hours of enjoyment and a look at the inside of pioneer life in the US.
Laura died in 1957 at the age of 90 after being married to Alanzo for 64 years. He passed away in 1949 at the age of 92. Their daughter Rose died at the age of 81 in 1968. What a legacy this family left behind.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Links
- Laura’s Travels (map)
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
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