Thursday, February 9, 2012

{two} - prairie love.

This really should've been Tuesday's post, but a day or two late is better than never! February 7, 1867 was the day our dear Laura Ingalls Wilder was born! And February 13, 1957 was Almanzo's birthday, so I guess this is kinda in-between.

The Little House series has been a family staple since I was too young to read. Mama read all the books aloud to us over a year and a half period (2000-2001, approx.) and I remember thinking as we read These Happy Golden Years, "This book is boorrrring...Laura's too old! Let's go back to Plum Creek when she's my age." And now... *cough* I'm actually older than Laura is at the start of Happy Golden Years. Two YEARS older.

Anyway, I did do a whole series of book reviews on the LH books back a few years, in which you can read more about my love of Laura and Little House. They were written when I was fifteen, so the perspective is a little different, and great fun :) I love old blog posts.
my favorite three books...wonder why???

I'm not sure if you all remember, but at the very beginning of I think Long Winter, the first chapter, there's something about Laura freshening up before breakfast, and it mentions that her braids are coiled on her head, but when they're loose, they fall to well below her waist, and undone, her hair is to her knees or something like that. Someday, my hair is going to be that long. Imagine all the fun you could have with it! (and yes, how much it'd weigh :P)

I've always wanted to go out West and see things...and to be honest, I'd rather visit Walnut Grove or DeSmet than do any of the other "typical" things people do when they travel to the Plains. I love that Laura and Almanzo and the entire Ingalls/Wilder clans were *real* people and lived real lives out there...paving the way for their descendants and other Americans after them. They had such spirit and determination, and had their fair share of hardship. The Ingalls family is amazing example of perserverance, and even the later saga of Laura and Almanzo is inspiring. They had to work SO HARD. For everything. Real, ordinary, every day heroes and heroines. I love hard-working people.

Ever since moving out here to the farm-ish place we live now, I've also felt like I have some kind of connection to the Wilder family, since the farm across the street was home for several years to Roger Lea McBride - a friend of Rose Wilder Lane, and author of the Rose Years series. Fun, yes?

And even though I love the books, I still actually enjoy the TV series - even though some of the story is very different. I think they kept the real spirit of the Ingalls family evident, and I even though I would've liked him to have a beard, Michael Landon makes up for it by being just an amazing Pa. :)
My Daddy and I have a relationship *very* similar to Laura and Pa. Actually, watching or reading their conversations in the books and the series is almost like eavesdropping on a talk I've already had with Dad. Especially the older Laura gets, and the more protective Pa becomes :D

And what's funny, is right now we're watching through Seasons 2 and 3, and I'm thinking, "Come on! Laura's so YOUNG, let's get to the *good* episodes when she's 15 and up." :D Yeah, in other words, when Manly comes on the scene. (Season 6) My books literally fall open at chapters where "important" things happen - and if you asked what my favorite literary couple was, I'd *immediately* answer Laura and Almanzo...mainly because it's a *real* literary story, and those are always the best.

Melissa Gilbert and Dean Butler as Laura and Almanzo in TV series

How long has Little House and the Ingalls family been a part of your world? What's your favorite Little House book? And what do you think of the 1970s TV series?

Theme from Little House on the Prairie


  1. The first time I got hold of a Little House book, I was about 6 or 7. I also had paper dolls of them. I actually read part of (or all...I can't remember) Little House on the Prairie before I read Little House in the Big Woods. I didn't like the show at first but then I started watching it more and I really liked it. I've read the first three books and Farmer Boy, and part of On the Shores of Silver Lake. I plan to finish the entire series, and I've seen most of the episodes of the show! :) I actually have the complete set of DVDs, LOL! My family was working through them before we got interrupted by our move. Have you ever seen the special Beyond the Prairie? It has different actors in it and it starts when Almanzo comes in. It's really good, but I haven't seen the second part yet.

  2. I LOVE Little House on the Prairie (both the books, AND the tv series), and I think Michael Landon acts a great pa. Lol, I love almost all the seasons very, very much. I thought season 6 has a lot of sad episodes (especially with Mary) and I thought Laura's infatuation with Manly when she was just 15 in the tv series a bit silly at times, but by the end I really loved them =D. I enjoyed the courtship of Laura and Almanzo in the book very much though too.

    One of my favourite things about Little House is the family spirit and the themes of hard-work, love and Christian morals displayed in the stories. Me too, I love the Pa/Laura talks, they are very special!

    Thanks for sharing this post, Jo.

    P.S. my hair got to be around hip-length last year, but I cut it grrrh!

  3. I love Little House. I can't remember it not being a part of my world. Both books and show are wonderful, and I'm going to have to watch some of the later seasons now. Without a doubt, my favorite is These Happy Golden Years, with Long Winter and Little Town on the Prairie tied for second.

    I just offered my aunt my *almost* complete set (missing Farmer Boy) for her girls. Now I'm regretting it. But I have to get rid of stuff since we're moving, and I know that these books will be at just about any library, period. So I just re-reconciled myself to giving them away. :P

  4. I can't remember how old I was when I first delved into the Little House books... probably around 8... and I've ended up reading the series through at least a dozen times since then. Anne of Green Gables is another series I've read through close to a dozes times, too. But that's kind of straying off the subject. :) I've seen the Michael Landon version of Little House and really like it. But I haven't seen the whole thing - I've only seen a few episodes of when Laura is older. I really want to see more of those. Hopefully Nellie's out of them... she is so... never mind. You understand. :D Me and my dad have a relationship like Laura and Pa too. At least in most respects. The one Christmas episode where Laura sells her pony to buy the stove for Ma... that one makes me tear up, no matter how hard I try not to. It's definitely one of my favorite episodes, if not the top favorite episode. Anyway... that story is such a classic... and anyone who says different is just plain crazy. ;)

  5. I can't remember a time BEFORE Little House on the Prairie- although I do remember the Christmas (I think I was eight) when someone introduced me to the television series. I was thrilled. I haven't read or watched any Little House lately, though. Now I want to! :)

  6. I also remember thinking that These Happy Golden Years was boring and I didn't read them (to myself) for a while. Now I'm 15.