It came to my attention that members of the newest generation may not be familiar with Little House on the Prairie – the show (which aired in the mid to late seventies) or the books which were written by Laura Ingalls Wilder in the early 20th century about growing up on the frontier in the later 1800s. I liked both – Little House on TV was something I watched every day (in reruns) and I devoured the books reading each one (there are 8) several times over. The books tell the story of a family of third generation immigrants who move from Wisconsin to the Dakota frontier in search of more farmable land. From their trip in a covered wagon to homesteading on the prairie – where they co-exist with the Native Americans, the the family’s eventual move to frontier farming town where they try build a solid laugh. If you’ve ever wanted to know how head cheese is made, or want to know what’s like to be snowed in for an entire winter, or make ice cream out of snow and molasses, Laura Ingalls Wilder is your girl. She matures in the books from Little Half Pint, to a teacher (at 16!) in a one room school room, to a wife, mother, and farmer.
A far cry from Gossip Girl or 90210 (though Nellie Olesen does function at the rich, gossipy foil to Laura’s ‘good girl) Little House on the Prairie is full of stories of hard work, family values and of self-reliant women — before we had too many questions about working mothers, to work or not work, we have these women – whose work both inside and outside the house – is vital to the family’s survival.
Anyway – the books are worth a look. I recently took my entire boxed set from my old bedroom – I intend to start to reread them – I’ll give up an update as I go along, to see how my childhood memories hold up.