For the past week or so we’ve been listening to the Little House on the Prairie series on CD while we’re in the car. And since we are just finishing our first year of home learning, we decided to take advantage of our flexible schedule. On Mother’s Day Evening, as we came to the end of Little House on the Prairie, I asked the kids “What do you say we go visit the Little House site in Kansas tomorrow?” Well, of course the answer was yes! And off we went on a sunny prairie morning to see where Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura and Baby Carrie lived so very long ago…
I’ve been a fan of the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder since I was just about Audrey’s age when the school librarian handed me a beat up copy of Little House on the Prairie that was about to be thrown out. It was dog eared and crumbling even then. But I fell in love.
Like much of the best classic kids lit, its still good to adult ears, and I’ll admit, has been a bit of a salve to my worried mama heart. Awful news seems to hurling at us left and right in the world, our country, and even on the local level. It’s kept me up at night with worry, and its made me fret over the state of the world in which I’m raising my children in.
Funnily enough though, I’ve taken to heart Laura’s lessons, most of which come from Ma, in which happiness is a state of mind. “What must be done is best done cheerfully,” Ma tells us in her quiet, stoic way. She is a perfect example of how a hopeful attitude and thankfulness for the blessings we have can help us overcome the greatest odds.
And so as we roamed around this Little House site, which was green and fresh and gorgeous on this bright May day, I felt happy and optimistic. It was interesting to think how such comfort could come from the writings of the child that had roamed there so very many years ago.
On the grounds of the site is a little post office and an old school building that have moved there to be enjoyed by the public. I loved seeing all the old things, and being reminded of how simple and homespun prairie life was. And ironically, since we’ve joined a home school co-op, our learning environment has a lot more in common with how the Ingalls girls were learning in ‘the olden days.’
We came away from the Little House site inspired and hopeful, and with some pride in our prairie landscape. There is beauty out here, and I can relate better to my own prairie dwelling ancestors who settled not so very far from this place. And I also am so glad to be hearing stories of hope and adventure, light and family. There is too much darkness in this world. Too many stories being stripped of their hope (ahem, looking at you, awful Anne of Green Gables remake!) to languish in despair, and that’s simply no way to live.
And, after all, if there’s one thing that the prairie has in abundance, it’s light….
Wishing you love, light and hope, from my prairie home to yours….