Sunday, September 27, 2009

two stout doors

My claim to fame as a youngster was that I read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books seven times over. My sister and I would play Little House dress-up--I was always Laura and made her be Mary--complete with bonnets, and with the teenage boy from next door mocking us. On one hot August road trip to visit relatives in St. Louis (in a Dodge Duster with black vinyl seats and no air conditioning), my dad, knowing of my obsession, drove us 100 miles off the interstate just to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder home and museum. (It was closed. I still hope to visit some day.)

But who wouldn't be obsessed? Log houses, playing catch with a pig's bladder, maple syrup candy, Pa's fiddle-playing, salt pork, Ma making hats from the harvest straw, the sod house, calico dresses, corn cob dolls, coyotes howling in the night, fever 'n' ague. And, of course, Garth Williams' beautiful illustrations. Williams was the illustrator of my childhood; all my very favorite books were illustrated by him. The Cricket in Times Square. Charlotte's Web. The Frances books. Stuart Little.

I still have my original yellow cardboard boxed set of Little House paperbacks and am now re-reading them for the eighth time. They are just as wonderful as when I was eight or nine--I still get a little scared when Ma pets the bear, thinking it's Sukey the cow; I still get worried that Jack the bulldog won't made the swim across the rushing creek. I still want to live in a sod house and eat salt pork.

But instead, I made a Little House-inspired
Etsy Treasury.



  1. One of my 7 Jeopardy catagories is "Little House On The Prarie" the TV show! I have seen every episode. And of course I have read all the books a million times over. I love to reread them every winter. I even have the TLHOTP cook book. Love the Garth Williams illustrations too.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

    ps: Did you see the new Little House movie? It was pretty good!

  2. Seriously. You must stop. Now I am really actually starting to feel bad that we live so far away from each other. I'd come over right now and dress up in a bonnet and eat salt pork with ya if I could. Well... maybe the veggie version of salt pork anyway.

    Those were my favorite books as well... Charlotte's Web! Stuart Little! The Cricket in Times Square! I have to add Alice in Wonderland and The Velveteen Rabbit. Don't you feel like those books are so a part of your creative personality? It breaks my heart that young kids nowadays are more interested in cell phones and some vampire book series crap than reading these classics. I guess that's it. It's official. I'm OLD!

    Thanks for the nostalgic whimsy. You brought a solid smile to my face this evening Dear Miss.

  3. Glamorous--theres a cookbook? A movie!? I obviously need to get with the program--I had no idea. I think I need to get that cookbook.

    B--I'm starting to think we were separated at birth or something! And while I am--generally speaking--a grumpy old lady regarding "stuff for kids today", as a former book editor I can assure you there *are* still really good books being published for kids, alongside the crap. But yeah, I'll always like the old things the best. :)

  4. that's the sweetest thing!

    I did the exact same thing. A couple of years ago, we moved from mid-michigan to northwest Arkansas. We made a day trip to the Laura Ingalls Wilder home and museum in Springfield and I felt like I had died and gone to my childhood version of heaven. Next trip is to Independence, Kansas....


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