Posts Tagged ‘Laura Ingalls Wilder’

As a girl, I loved Little House on the Prairie, and other books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. And I still enjoy them today. The television series featuring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, Karen Grassle, and others didn’t follow the books’ story lines all the time, but nevertheless remained faithful to the themes and spirit of Laura’s books (and life experiences).

Writer-reader geek that I am, I visited the Ingalls farm, school house, and the house that Pa built in De Smet, South Dakota. The area is still beautiful and wind-blown. It wasn’t difficult to image the Ingalls family riding in a buggy to town or to the store where Harriet and Nellie Oleson spent their lives annoying others (including Willie and long-suffering Nels). A bit “off the beaten path,” I’m glad we took the time to visit De Smet.

These memoirs, for that is what Little House in the Big Woods, By the Shores of Silver Lake, and On the Banks of Plum Creek seemed to be to me, breathe life into American history. And I think my enjoyment of history was helped along by Laura’s books (as well as family stories and my father’s fascination with history – especially American history).

Currently, I’m working on several historical projects. They will never obtain the readership or popularity of Laura’s books, but I hope to breathe life into the men and women dwelling in their pages – for history matters!

And these words from a tiny (4′ 11″) pioneer woman still ring true: “The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder.

For those who’d like to view some historical photos of Laura, and learn a little bit about Laura and her family, husband, and life – here’s a link to a wonderful article: The Amazing Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder Part I: Old Photo Archive. Enjoy!

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Evergreens We had a couple of inches of snow last night. Though the blustery wind has pushed the snow into small drifts, it isn’t deep enough to scoop up an unblemished bowlful.

You might be asking, why in the world would I be looking for a bowl of snow? Here’s the answer: When I was a kid, we used to gather snow from a location where the white fluddy stuff was as pure as possible. Then, we’d stir in some maple syrup and make a form of snow ice cream.

The idea for maple snow ice cream was from my Granny and Pop Crosby who’d grown up in Western New York with its lake-effect snowfall. Both had come from families of limited means. Maple syrup was available in the area for a reasonable price, if you didn’t gather maple sap and boil up your own syrup. And so our family’s maple snow ice cream tradition began many years ago in Western New York.

We also had a vanilla version of snow ice cream, which involved mixing sugar and vanilla and a bowlful of snow. For non-maple syrup lovers, it is an agreable substitute.

Variations of combining maple syrup and snow can be found in family cookbooks, online, and even in one of the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. With more snow in the forecast for next week for Wood’s Edge, I should be able to gather some snow and relive one of my favorite childhood memories.

Plus, as a writer who frequently writes about winter and frontier or rural locations, this little tidbit of Americana might just be included in a story. Writers need to remember to include specific details in their stories, and what is more specific than a homemade treat using snow?

For those who’d like to try a snow-maple delicacy, here’s a link to an easy maple sugar snow candy. So gather your bowls, spoons, and syrup bottle – and let it snow!

If you’re enjoying my blog, why not buy one of my books and post a review?

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Oct 2013 import 459 “Character, I think, is the single most important thing in fiction. You might read a book once for its interesting plot—but not twice.” – Diana Gabaldon

I agree with this quote. I return to books to revisit the characters I’ve grown to love. I enjoyed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books as a girl because of central character, Laura, and her family and friends. I re-read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, because I wanted to be like Jo. I’ve twice-read Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and its sequels because of Katniss Everdeen. And I’m currently caught up in Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress because of the characters.

Today’s quotable author, Diana Gabaldon, created two wonderful central characters: Claire and Jamie. And let’s be honest, most women would fall for Jaime.

Here’s another Gabaldon quote which would send many women into a swoon: “When the day shall come that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’-ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.” – Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

How about you? Do characters draw you into a book? Do they make you re-read books?
(BTW, this photo and all others posted with Diana Gabaldon quotes were taken by me in Scotland).

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