Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pioneer Princess

145 years ago, on February 7, 1867,  Laura Ingalls was born in the "Big Woods" in Wisconsin. But she's best known for her time living on the Kansas prairie. Her story has always resonated with me. She was so brave -- she is one of the strong women I try to emulate.

Did you read the Little House books when you were younger?

Or maybe watch the television show?

I remember watching the shows off and on, but never really got into them. And I don't have any memories of reading the books at all. Which doesn't mean I didn't read them. I have a terrible memory for books. And I read similar books, like Caddie Woodlawn and Anne of Green Gables, which makes me think I at least read a couple.

That said, I have a great fondness for my idea of them. And I know I bought the romance of frontier living. I loved daydreaming of living in a cabin and being completely self-sufficient. Heck, I still have that dream from time to time.

When I was in college (the first time), my parents moved to Kansas. During my breaks, we would travel around the state visiting historic sites and points of interest. But we never made it to the replica house showing where the Ingalls family lived when they were in Kansas.

I am intrigued by the longevity of these novels. I believe they have made a resurgence in popularity with the movement to return to a simpler way of living - crafts, sewing, gardening, preserving, etc.

I have long thought about reading the entire series. I imagine there is plenty of inspiration for young women, and girls. And it would certainly fit in with my goal toward more sustainable living. Maybe I'll make my goal between now and her 150th birthday in five years.


  1. Laura Ingalls WIlder has been one of my role models and favorite literary characters ever since my mom and aunt gave me the series to read when I was a young girl. I always wanted to be like Laura, and have adventures like she had. These books, and Caddie Woodlawn and Anne of Green Gables that were mentioned as well, are wonderful sources of inspiration for young women and girls everywhere. Happy 145th birthday, Laura Ingalls, and thank you for being such a strong role model for women like me!

    1. She really is quite remarkable, is she not? I'm intrigued by what I've learned about her life over the years, whether through research, or from public knowledge.

  2. I read the books as a kid, and just a couple months ago reread them all, plus the series about her daughter. I love them!! Such wonderful description and a great account of that time in our history.

    My mom grew up on a farm in Kansas and has always identified strongly with Laura. She even named my little sister after her!

    1. What a great story for your sister's name! After hearing so many people rave about their love for these books, I know for sure I have to read them for myself.

  3. When I was younger, my godmother (the same person who got me started on the Anne of Green Gables series, fittingly enough, and who may have purchased Caddie Woddlawn for me) bought me the entire Little House series, one book at a time. I received two each year -- one at Christmas, one on my birthday -- from summer 1992 through Christmas 1997.

    I started reading when I was older than Laura in the Big Woods, but due to the twice a year schedule and the art of fiction, I finished her story before I graduated high school.

  4. Oh, what a lovely way to give that gift! And I'm sure it's a wonderful memory you have of your godmother.

    I am the book-buying Aunt, and my 7 year old niece is just now getting into chapter books. I think this may be a nice way to introduce them to her, one book at a time.