Imagine sitting down and having a conversation with someone who lived nearly a hundred years ago. What did they do to occupy their time? How did they view the events of the world during the time in which they lived? Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote many articles for publication in farm journals and women’s magazines during an interesting and changing period in American history. As such, there are a wealth of things to learn from Little House in the Ozarks: A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler, The Rediscovered Writings edited by Stephen Hines.
Mrs. Wilder wrote about the politics of her time, WWI and all that the war meant for a nation at home, the change in women’s roles during that period as they went to work in factories to keep their loved ones abroad supplied with guns and munitions, the farmer wife working at home to keep her loved ones abroad’s stomachs filled, and women’s suffrage. She also wrote about the simple everyday things we all share in raising children, maintaining friendships, treating others as we would wish to be treated, building and sharing sweet memories. Many times Mrs. Wilder encouraged other women who found themselves wrapped up in the busy, hard work on a farm to take a look out of the window, to see things.
Considering all that Mrs. Wilder saw in her lifetime, all of the changes she lived through, it is amazing how much really does remain the same. Then, as now, they were amazed at the new technology and how busy and rushed their lives felt. They debated taxes and government handouts. They struggled to find the balance among the many directions in which their time was pulled.
Any student of history will find this telling glimpse into the past a rewarding read. Highly recommended.
As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness – just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breathe it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.
Laura Ingalls Wilder