February 2, 2012

4 Lessons I Learned From Little House In the Big Woods

I recently listened to Little House in the Big Woods on audio book. It really made me sit back and reflect about a few things.
  1. I'm very thankful that I'm not Ma. Caroline Ingalls had to care for two small girls and a baby single-handedly all day while Pa was out working. And simultaneously she was milking cows, churning butter, making every meal, sewing, mending, washing, and cleaning -- all without running water or electricity. How did people do it back then?!
  2. Do not, I repeat, do NOT listen to or read this book if you're hungry. The descriptions of making butter and bread and cheese are mouth-watering. Even the descriptions of sugaring off made my stomach growl, and I hate maple syrup! They worked so hard to make their food, but it sure sounds delicious.
  3. I'm also thankful that the Sabbath isn't as strict any more. I enjoy our laid-back church services on Sunday mornings, reading books and eating cookies in the afternoon, and our long family walks in the evening. The descriptions of how boring and dour services were in Laura Ingalls' time make it surprising that anyone would actually want to go to church.
  4. And finally, it's amazing to me how content they were with so little. It really cements my urge to simplify our possessions and life. Laura and Mary had little rag and wooden dolls and old broken saucers to play house with, and they were perfectly satisfied.
I really enjoyed listening to this book -- it's been about 20 years since I read it, and it was fun to hear the stories again. The audio production was pretty great too, because whenever Pa's fiddle playing is referenced (as it frequently is) -- there is fiddle music playing on the CD. I think it enhanced the story to hear the songs played throughout the text. I can't wait till Eleanor is a few years older and I can read this again with her!

Should I recommend this to my grandma? Yes, and your kids too!
Rating: 5 out of 5

What's your favorite Little House book? Or do you prefer the tv show?

The book image is an Amazon affiliate link. 

P.S. I announced the giveaway winner yesterday on Facebook and Twitter...was it you?