Friday, October 10, 2014

Homestead: My Favorite Books

Laura Ingalls Wilder [Google Image]

     When I was a little girl my Mother read to my brother and I as a special treat. We loved it. Of course there was no TV, no video games, no computers and no town close by. Looking back now I realize we were quite poor although I never knew it at the time. We had lots of things like cats and dogs and chickens. My very own pony and lots of books and if I was good I could use my Mothers water colors and paint pictures of our farm. We had land to roam around on and lots of things to discover. We had chores and our own small gardens to look after. We were happy children and saw the world through the wonder around us, from the birth of kittens to a flock of wild geese landing on our pond!

   Books were incredibly important in our home, even after we got television. I have always loved to read and enjoy the feel of a book in hand and the places it can take you. Homesteading books come in a wide variety of types from Historical to Modern from factual to fiction. My very favorite though are the "Little House" books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

 Little House In The Big Woods, Written By Laura Ingalls Wilder and Illustrated by Garth Williams.

The first 'Little House' book I was introduced to was Little House in The Big Woods. It was published in 1932 and filled our nights with delight and joy as My mother read it to us. It follows Laura and her Family through a year in their little log house in the big woods of Wisconsin.

The copy my Mother read to us was Illustrated by Garth Williams and the combination of the story and the wonderful drawings kept us spellbound and enthralled.

Laura and Mary pouring Maple syrup on a Sugar snow.  [ Google Image]

Right from the first these stories about a pioneer family tugged at our hearts and imagination. There were many similarities between Laura's family and ours.
They had a woodstove and we did too. They raised most of their own food and we did that as well.  I know "Pa" reminded me very much of my own father. He was a good hunter and I remember the special care he took with his rifle. Some of the fun was when my Mother tried to make recipes from Laura's descriptions of her mother's cooking!

This looked very much like my Father's home made smoker! [Google Image]

We followed Laura and her Pa across the midwest and through good and bad times. Through feast and famine and terrifyingly cold winters. The images of "Half Pint" are with me still and I often find myself reaching for my tattered copies of"Little House in the Big Woods", "The Long Winter", "These Happy Golden Years" or "On The Banks of Plum Creek".

We watched the girls grow and the family grow too as they traveled and followed "Charles" itchy feet. This family shows the courage and faith that is one reason that America grew to greatness. The pioneer will to do things and be the best they can, to help neighbors when they need it and to be better each year. To accept responsibility for ones own actions and to make a good life for one and ones family.

From "The Long Winter"; [Google Image]

I believe that these books are a must for all homes and families, not just homesteads and country families. They are not just for children either and I find they are an inspiration to me and a delight to read. In these uncertain times when honesty and integrity and faith are in such short supply, this families stories give hope to the human condition and what we have in us to give!
Google Image

Lets put our backs into and make these our happy golden years!



  1. I remember every one of these pictures from when I read those books as a child. What a nice trip down "memory lane" :-).

    Everything looks good over here. Didn't see any problems, so I guess you got it fixed. Did get a weird pop up ad though. Not sure what that was about.

  2. My favorites were "Little Women". I've always loved to read. I read to my children and when the grandsons spent the night with us (which was very, very often all the way up to when we adopted them), I would always lie on my stomach on their bedroom floor and read to them after I had tucked them into bed. Their favorite books were the Hank The Cowdog series. And I enjoyed them, as well. I can't help but think that the way you grew up, YOU were the rich kids.

    1. I always had a soft spot for Jo. And yes we were rich in ways not bought by money!