Thoughts on Little House

by adustyframe ~ October 27th, 2009

James and I have been reading through the Little House series. They are listed on Ambleside’s list, but we’d be reading them anyway.

We’re reading them slowly with breaks in between to read other books on the list. It’s a special treat for us when it’s time to pick up the next Little House book.

I remember pouring over the books and loving everything about Laura. I spent a period of my young childhood angry at my parents that they didn’t name me Laura Elizabeth!

Reading these books as an adult gives me such a different perspective.

I admire their hard work and thriftiness. They make do with so little and use up every thing.

I like the lessons Ma and Pa teach the girls.  I admire Ma for adding cheer and gentleness to their home.

Once again, I’ve fallen in love with these books, but as an adult, I wonder a few things.

I wonder if Ma liked traipsing all over the country. I wonder if she ever sighed and wished Charles would just stay put.

I wonder if I’d be cheerful to live in a dugout in the ground surrounded by prairie.

I think I’d be whiney to have to go out in the blizzard and feed the animals. I also think I’d be upset with my husband for going to town when he knew there was a storm coming!

As we read about the grasshoppers in On the Banks of Plum Creek, I felt sick. All that hard work for nothing!

I felt like hollering, “Don’t these people ever get a break!?”

I wonder if I’m looking at the story with my own eyes that have endured trials for so long. Maybe they just took life as it was and knew it would be hard.Maybe I should do the same.

I still love the books, but I just wish they would get a break once in awhile!

Here’s an interesting post about the grasshopper story.


8 Thoughts Shared to Thoughts on Little House

  1. MamaHen

    I too love the LH books. I have read and re-read them since I was a child. I even still read them as an adult :).

    I too have wondered about Ma and the fact that she didn’t have a nervous breakdown. Lots of women did back then. I probably would have !

    I have also wondered about how Pa could go to the Wilder store and eat pancake after pancake when he knew his family was at home starving.

    Thanks so much to the the LH link. I cannot wait to go check it all out.

  2. Marie

    I LOVED the Little House series!! I read all of them over and over. I loved the show, too; it was my favorite TV show throughout the early ’80’s. I had a crush on Matthew Laboreteux (sp?) for a while. Banks of Plum Creek……yup, that brings back memories!

    I’m sure James is enjoying them.

  3. Miss Rachel

    I loved reading the Little House series. I still haven’t finished it, as I have some other book reviews to do, but I loved reading them. The first one was one of the first ones I read.

    I have never thought about it like you described – why don’t they ever get a break. I did however admire the way they did things – always using EVERYTHING and never letting anything go to waste. They made their own clothes, grew their own food, built their own houses… everything was self-reliant.

    People nowadays would go nuts trying to live like them, because they’ve grown so dependent on the government to provide for them. I read an article once about how when you ask a kid today where food comes from, they don’t say it grows on a plant, they say – “from the store”. it’s not good for the next generation of kids.

    Wonderfully thought-provoking! thank you for sharing!

  4. Pam

    I am the first generation removed from the Amish culture…although it isn’t “the Prairie” it also can be a hard life. I loved visiting my grandparents farm as a child…
    but as an adult I don’t think I am “up to” all of the work they do everyday.
    God Bless, Pam, South Bend

  5. amy

    I’m a huge Little House fan. I loved them as a kid and re-read them a couple of years ago and thought many of the same things you did.

    I wonder how Ma really felt about her life. It’s not like Pa was super successful at farming. And, they had some of the WORST luck!

  6. Lisa

    My daughter and I have read most of these together. My favorite is the Long Winter. I recently read “The Children’s Blizzard” about that winter. I haven’t turned the furnace on yet–I always wait till AT LEAST November 1. My kids whine–I remind them of the “long winter,” remind them of my Mom’s antique coffee grinder and of having to sit in freezing cold all day grinding grain. They, of course, (being MY kids!!) just roll their eyes and mutter and walk away! I simply cannot imagine HOW they made it thru that winter except for God’s grace…..

  7. Melinda

    Share my wisdom? Ha!

    Anyway, I love the LH books and read them often, sometimes I read them aloud to my kiddos, and sometimes I don’t! Like you, I really appreciate their work ethic, etc . . . I just recently noticed something in the second book, Little House on the Prairie, regarding Ma’s attitude toward Pa. I have been reading Emerson Eggerich’s Love and Respect (I highly recommend it. I buy copies and give them away to people all the time. It is a crucially needed message.)and it just jumped out at me. Ma said to Pa, when he finished the cabin, “I’m glad to have a roof over my head before [winter].” She did not thank him for providing for the children, but for herself! She was respecting him and appreciating all his hard work for them, but she related it to herself. We don’t do that much anymore, do we? I really think our husbands would appreciate hearing that we respect their efforts on our behalf, and not just for the little ones.

    I do have to wonder, though, if she isn’t taking it a little too far in The Long Winter, when lunch has waited a couple of hours for him to return from hunting and she hurries the girls to the table so as not to keep Pa waiting. I always thought that was kind of ironic, of course, he was hunting for their meals.

    Thanks for the link. I think I am going to enjoy reading at that new site. I find it fascinating to learn about Laura’s actual life and the way she “ficitonalized” the accounts to tell a good story.

    You should also read her journals, if you have not done so, and her articles that she wrote for farm women’s magazines. They are wonderful and give a clearer picture of her life as a grown-up.

    Thanks for your blog. I love it. I visit often, although I rarely comment. I pray for your family often. God bless you all.

  8. Carrie

    I love the books too, and have had the same thoughts as an adult reading them again.

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