Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Just what I needed

Well, I finished The Long Winter last night. It was just what I needed to get me back into the swing of things. Laura and her family struggle to survive on the open prairie, cut off from supplies until the train begins running in the spring. Makes one feel lucky they didn't live back then.

Her future husband, Almanzo, along with another young man, Cap Garland risk their lives to search for some seed wheat which will save the little town from starvation. Through frigid cold, having to walk or run alongside their sleds to keep warm, Cap and Almanzo travel to find the man who might have wheat to spare.

The descriptions of the storms, once again, make me feel like I am right alongside Cap and Almanzo. At one point, they see a dark cloud far away and Laura describes how it creeps along shutting off the stars one by one. She repeats the details of the sky as Almanzo and Cap rush to try and out run the impending storm.

You feel joy along with the Ingalls family when spring finally arrives and the trains bring in the long awaited supplies. Now they will have meat, coal, and kerosene. No more grinding brown wheat in the coffee mill and twisting hay with rough, cut up hands to keep the fire lit. And you are glad when the Christmas barrel Reverend Alden's church sent along to the Ingalls family finally arrives. For then they get to celebrate Christmas in May, and are reunited with their friends the Boasts who they have not seen through the long, hard winter because the Boasts had stayed out on their claim to care for their livestock.

Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, "I had no idea I was writing history." It is the truth, that Wilder's books are more than mere fiction. They tell us what it was like during the era of the pioneers--where families moved farther away from the east coast to settle the untamed west. They battled illness, starvation, Indian attacks, and lost many of their loved ones. They lived in a time of uncertainty, but also one of great hope and faith.

No matter what happens as I wrap up my reading of The Ghost in the Little House, my respect for Laura remains. Her stories and articles about farming life drag me into a time long ago, which I can now only experience through history books. They make me feel what she feels and want what she wants. And most of all, they entertain me. They make me want to keep reading until my eyes will no longer stay open.


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Anonymous Lynn said...

I am glad you still find happiness in these books

6:57 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Thanks Lynn. I really do love them. My own writing has been pretty much nothing except for working on my DQ fan fic and posting blog entries, so I hoped if I read something I loved I would feel like getting back into writing.

I will try to get a good night's rest and then start working on revisions to a short story tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.


7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed you interview Cheryl. Joyce's book sounds really great. Thank you for sharing your interview with us.

9:45 AM  

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