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Any Laura Ingalls Wilder fans?

(234 Posts)
moondog Sun 16-Sep-12 19:17:50

I visited the LIW house and museum in Missouri a few weeks ago and it was one of the most moving experiences ever. I made a detour of thousands of miles to see it.
If anyone loves her just as much as I do I wanted the chance to tell you about it so that you can savour every delicious detail.

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 18:05:35

They like Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder best and I finished it last night and enjoyed it very much.
If you could only see her lovely stone chimney and tiny little bespoke kitchen Almanzo made for her with a lovely view as she hated making bread! Her little writing desk! The beds they died in! Finally, their grave in the Mansfilef cemetery a mile or so away.

Speaking ot the guides was momentous in itself. They told me stories of people turning up from all over the world. We tored with a group of Mennonites so at one stage it was like we had gone completely back in time.

Then we had a picnic in a grove by the house.
It was the best part of my time in the States, it beat even the week we spent later on in the summer in NYC.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 17-Sep-12 18:09:42

Pa's fiddle? The quilts they made? <moved>

They were tiny weren't they? Both of them.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 17-Sep-12 18:11:45

I would be overwhelmed too. Those books were terribly important to me as a child.

I was always terribly impressed by how skilled these people had to be. House building, pig killing and butchery (I thought of Laura roasting the pig tail when we butchered our own pigs for the first time), hunting, cooking, farming. They had to do it all or they would have nothing.

Chandon Mon 17-Sep-12 18:14:42

Tell me more.

Those books are my comfort haven, when dh sees me read little house books he knws I am down or sick and is especially kind to me.

I think they are magical as they really transport you to a different time and you get to meet real people. I love so much about it, I love her strong personality most. I grew up with Laura Ingalls Wilder ( and Jo from little women, and Lizzie Bennett ) as my role models. I liked it that she refused to say she would obey Almanzo in the wedding ceremony. Was she a bit f a feminist? ....

Bit sad about how hard her life was once she married.

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 18:15:15

Who was tiny?
Or what?
The quilts?
Or them? grin

You can see Mary's tiny little (adult) shoes and the beadwork she did at the college for the blind.
I couldn't even continue reading to my kids when I got to the part about Mr Edwards walking 40 miles iwh Christmas presents for them.

I love all that di it yourself stuff.
I was running a grist mill this summer in the States. That was ace.
What is all this about butchering your own pigs?
I want to do that.

Tommy Mon 17-Sep-12 18:16:41

big fans here too - I would love to go there!
I bought a set when I was pregnant too and read them to all my DSs. We have them on audio book and love listening to them in the car. DH and I always exchange a hmm when Ma's rather less than tolerant views come out!!

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 18:17:37

Chandon, it wasn't sad.
She was happy. They had a good life.

Also intersting is how Laura and Rose made adjustments for the sake of narrative, omitting or collapsing events. They left Walnut Grove (Plum Creek) and went to run a hotel in Burr Oak, Iowa, then came back. A little brother diea and was buried there.

Yes, so sad that none of the girls had children. Rose left all royalties to a young lad she semi adopted and now his daughter gets the lot and doesn't help out with the museum in Manson.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 17-Sep-12 18:18:07

them grin

Laura was under five foot wasn't she?

The bit about Mr Edwards gets me too.

Butchering your own pigs is GREAT. We made black pudding and brawn and everything. This year the pigs are rather small so have had a stay of execution.

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 18:18:53

God yes, Ma complaining about stinking Indians.
In 'Farmner Boy' a terrifying brutal part when the teacher gets out a huge bullwhip to deal with a big group of rough boys who want to beat him up (and actually killed the last teacher.)

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 18:20:05

HC,my neighbour has pigs and we get her sausages and what have you but she said she gets too fond of them.
I have learning how to smoke meat on my todo list this year.
I'll leave making bullets to 2013.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 17-Sep-12 18:23:05

I don't get fond of them because I keep the meat idea firmly in my mind.

However DS has named them this year which is rather a disaster.

I cravenly hide when they are being taken off for slaughter. the first year we had them done at home to get the blood and I hid from that too blush

Chandon Mon 17-Sep-12 18:25:33

But moondog, they must have been fairly stinky as they wore fresh skunk skins, right? ( die hard fan here)

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 18:26:30

Yes indeed.
I thought so too.
No point being PC about a fact.

<hard core fan>

Tommy Mon 17-Sep-12 18:27:45

they were stinky but no need for Ma's "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" - certainly less saccharin than her persona in the TV progs!

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 18:28:43

Oh God, tv version is hardly worth comment.
It was another time with another set of attitudes.

Chandon Mon 17-Sep-12 18:31:01

Fair enough Tommy!

I never watched the tv series as I did not want the images in my head superimposed, I once saw a bit, pa did not even have a beard, I switched off.

mignonette Mon 17-Sep-12 18:34:31


Lucky, lucky children to have you as their

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 18:49:07

Very wise Chandon.
Thank you Mignon.
It is all for entirely selfish reasons as I revisit my childhood.
I have just read them a real weepy about Helen Keller I loved in my youth.

piprabbit Mon 17-Sep-12 19:00:24

Thank you for this thread.
I've loved reading LIW over the years. I adore the way the books get more complex (in terms of ideas and language) as the girls grow older, so that you can start reading Little House in the Big Woods at primary age and then sort of keep pace with Laura as she grows up.

I love Ma's berry like buttons on her beautiful dress at the maple dance.
Laura becoming a teen, with bangs and the ridiculous fad for printed calling cards.
I wished Pa was my dad for a while.

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 19:04:40

The calling cards are in the museum!

Isn't she adorable?

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 19:05:23


moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 19:07:59

The house that Almanzo built.
I have stood on that porch and wept.

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 19:11:38

Here they all are.

ilovemydogandMrObama Mon 17-Sep-12 19:15:10

thanks so much for this! I had forgotten how much I loved LIW as a child and will order them for the DCs.

Am blush that hadn't realised there was a museum! <<adds to bucket list>>

moondog Mon 17-Sep-12 19:15:53

How ya doing' ilmd?

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