When Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing about her life growing up in pioneer America (circa 1870-1880), she had no idea the fame she would soon have. The Little House books were published starting in 1932 when Laura was 66 — she was hoping to make a little money to help offset the losses from living through the Great Depression. Twenty-five years later, a shy little fourth grade girl in suburban Detroit (me), devoured the first book, Little House in the Big Woods, and the next and the next.
From the very beginning, I was captivated by Laura and her family, compelled by the simplicity of her life, a life lived with not much fear considering the awesome adversity she and her family often faced. The vivid descriptions of nature, waking up to a snow-covered bed inside the house after a particularly brutal blizzard, not to mention inquisitive Native Americans checking out the new neighbors, all of these events kept me imagining myself in such situations. How tough Laura’s early life was compared to even the hardest life lived today. I envied her in so many ways, as if I would have been a better (and braver?) person had I had such challenges. I am grateful to Laura for giving me her stories of life back when our country was young and the people so courageous.
Visit us tomorrow to learn about a heroine who took to the skies.