Throughout the last couple weeks, The Girl and I have been reading The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We started at the beginning of the Little House book series in July and every Monday through Thursday nights (and sometimes over the weekend), we'll read a couple chapters.
I have loved the Little House books since I received them from my grandparents one Christmas when I was a young girl. The books were old and well worn from reading (some of them even had my name scrawled across the inside cover...in crayon) so I replaced the old blue set with one exactly like it that I found on eBay several years back. My set was not going to be passed on to The Girl (because I STILL read them so much) so I had to get her a set of her very own. Between several trips to the thrift store, I scored a practically new full matching set - for about $4.
The Long Winter isn't my favorite book from the series, but it is probably the one I remember and appreciate the most - especially on cold, cold winter days. It is the one book that makes me come back to my senses when I long to be living out west over one hundred years ago. When the weather was good, times were tough enough. When the weather was bad...seven months of blizzards, little to no food, and no trains bringing supplies...you were lucky to survive.
Though The Girl kept up a positive attitude...
The Girl: "But mommy, homemade brown bread everyday would be yummy!"Me: "Wouldn't you get tired of it if that was ALL you had to eat every day for months and months?"...she did begin to understand the severity of cabin fever when after only three days of being snowed in (with a full pantry) she was bored and wanted desperately to go out - even though we already spent several hours at the sledding hill.
The Girl: "Oh. (long pause) Yes."
And knowing the book series continued after The Long Winter kept her from worrying too much about Laura's fate because after all, Laura must have survived to write all those other books, right?