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Sunday, October 28, 2018
Living Like Little House On The Praire
As a child, my favorite series of books were The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In them, she details her life as a young girl and woman traveling by covered wagon with her family. She grew up in different parts of the USA, and worked as a schoolteacher when she was a teenager. She and her husband, Almanzo, eventually settled in Missouri. There she was at last able to garden, raise Leghorns, grow apples, and enjoy a grounded life. Although her husband still desired to go West, she refused to move. He built them a beautiful home there, and they lived a happy and peaceful life in the country. The house is now a popular museum.
I am currently reading a (new to me) book by her called Writings To Young Women From Laura Ingalls Wilder. This one is on wisdom and virtues. It is a series of articles that she wrote around 1920 for newspapers and periodicals, and was edited by Stephen W Hines. There are three books in the collection, and I have all of them. I gave them to my mother before she died. She kept them on display in my old bedroom. They fit in perfectly with her decor.
When I read Laura's words, it inspires me to live like they did in those old times. I am eager to observe and care for my pumpkins, artichokes, beets, and other vegetables. I gather fresh green leaves from the lettuce patch, and soak them in filtered water to make a daily salad. I season the meat for dinner and tuck a few potatoes in with it to make dual use of the gas for cooking. Nothing is wasted, including time. It's amazing how time consuming social networking can be. When I pretend that I'm living a hundred years ago, it helps me to stay in the moment and to not check my ipad constantly. I feel more focused and relaxed, and it's easier to get the things on my list accomplished.
I pick a fresh orange off of my Navel Orange tree and slice it into quarters. The juice is flavorful and delicious. The peels are either used to flavor white vinegar for a cleaning solution or they will be dried for a winter fruit tea.
Instead of getting caught up in technology and pressure to communicate, I sit out on the porch in the fresh air and sunshine, reading or knitting. This time of year I am having that third cup of coffee per day again.
Laura stresses the importance of being calm, practicing self control, and not reacting to those who are antagonistic. People had many of the same struggles in their relationships in those days as they do now. She came from a loving home, and had an excellent example of kind and patient behavior. I just love reading her books. Her spirit lives through them forever.
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