"It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with the simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong." Laura Ingalls Wilder
I told you in my last post not to hold your breath waiting for a new post from me : )
I'm really getting bad about posting regularly. I promised myself that that was one of things I was going to work on this year, but life just seems to get away from me. And, well, I really struggle to try to find something interesting to write about. What I really want to do is vent (actually, more like a rant) about my job: about the customers who are so stinking crabby, and the managers who speak to us peons like we're idiots; about the 18 year old co-workers who think that I'm old and useless at 51; about how frustrating it is to have to work a job for which I am grossly overqualified, both in terms of experience and in education; about working for minimum wage; about irregular work hours and not having enough hours; about my feet and back and knees that are just KILLING me!!
I could also vent about how hard it is to make friends in this town. It's an odd place; everyone is friendly on the outside, but they don't want to be your friend. The natives are clannish and, come hell or high water, they're not going to let you in to their clique. The only people here who are becoming my friends are not native to the area.
And I could vent about finances (or lack thereof), although, the relatively mild winter climate here in California makes my winter bills quite low (can't say the same for the summer bills, though).
I could go on and on, but I won't. What I will talk about is one of the things (actually a person) from which a derive a great deal of comfort in the hard times.
One of my heroes is Laura Ingalls Wilder. I'm not talking about the Laura in the "Little House on the Prairie" TV show. My apologies to all the fans of the show, but that wasn't Laura. And, I'm sorry, but Michael Landon was definitely not Pa! I know it was a fictionalized version of the Ingalls' life, but once you know the real story, the TV show is a disappointment (at least it was for me).
I'm talking about the real Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I first read her books when I was a child and loved them, although, the books that described the hard times weren't my favorites. I wanted all sweetness and light, like most children, so my favorite stories about Laura were the ones about the good times.
But now, I love the stories about the hard times. About the long hard winter when the Ingalls nearly starved; about Mary going blind; about the grasshoppers and the failed crops; about the blizzards and the prairie heat; about the financial woes; about the oftentimes grueling work. When I read Laura's Little House books, I read about a family who faced life's challenges with dignity and grace, and an awful lot of hard work. It gives me great comfort to know that tough times can not only be faced head on, but can be overcome as well. There are great lessons to be learned from Laura's writings: that there is no great loss without some small gain; that all good things come from some sort of sacrifice; that family and friends are more important than wealth and things; that hard work is good for us; and (although it is sometimes hard for me to hear this) that adversity is good for us.
In spite of all their hard times, in spite of all the loss and pain and struggle and tremendous disappointment, the Ingalls still believed, all through their lives, that God is good.
"Suffering passes, while love is eternal. That's a gift that you have received from God. Don't waste it." Laura Ingalls Wilder
So, if you've never read the Little House books as a child, pick one up. If you read them as a child, but haven't picked one up since, read them again, with fresh eyes. You will read about a remarkable family and a particularly remarkable girl, who grew into a great lady.
That great lady not only wrote children's books, but also wrote articles for Missouri farm papers and national magazines. Those articles are collected in this volume:
This is a good read, as well:
And, by the way, if you ever get the opportunity to visit Laura and Almanzo's home in Mansfield, Missouri, do it! I've been twice, and it was wonderful! Pa's violin is in the museum, and their houses (there are two on the property) are just darling. The farmhouse was left pretty much the same as it was when Laura died in 1957, so you get a fairly good idea how Laura and Almanzo lived. You can visit the website here.
Thanks so much for your visit. I hope you leave a comment; I love reading them.