Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our little house...not on the prairie

Little House on the Prairie

It all started this past spring when I got to thinking about some books we needed to start reading. We had some road trips coming up and some friends had mentioned about taking audio books that the whole family could listen to and enjoy together while on a road trip. I decided we needed some classics, and then I had to find some that we would all agree on - and that included Ross. On our trip to California in April we took Anne of Green Gables and we all enjoyed it (although the story teller's "Anne" voice did grate on us by the end). In May when we went to the Coast, we took The Boxcar Children, because we all love mysteries, and those were well received also. But it wasn't until our trip to Heppner in July that we hit fascination level - Little House on the Prairie. Or to be exact, Little House in the Big Woods (the first chronologically in the series).

We listened intently to the story and we laughed and shook our heads at the same times. It was a fabulous, shared experience on that long road trip home. And surprisingly (at least to me) we discovered that both Ross and Hot Rod were addicted to the Little House story. Ross later shared that he had been a huge fan of the original tv series as a kid. But Hot Rod? I just assumed that it would be Lil' Mermaid who was more intrigued about the story of the Ingalls family. I mean they had three little girls and in my silly mind I thought that would attract Lil' Mermaid more than her twin brother. But I was wrong and duly chastised for my gender stereotyping (by Hot Rod and his father).

After we finished the audio book, we talked for quite a while about what life was like back then and Ross (in his knowledgeable about weird things way), even explained some of the story parts for us when we didn't understand why they did something. After the kids dozed off, Ross and I kept talking about how different things were back then and how crazy things are in our world now. Ross, was dreaming of actually living a life like Little House and I was dreaming about living some of the ideals of Little House. It made us both think.

The following week we walked to the library and Hot Rod asked if we could get another Little House audio book. I told him we could look for one or we could get the books and read them aloud as a family. He said he'd prefer that I read them. Oh great, I thought. That night after dinner Hot Rod nagged me to start reading The Little House on the Prairie. So we started, and we kept going, and going and going.....Lil' Mermaid curled up next to me. Peelu dragged her books and a blanket onto the other couch and she quietly looked at them, but seemed to be listening as well. Ross cleaned up the dishes and came to lay down on the other couch. He stretched his legs out as Peelu crawled up onto his chest. And Hot Rod...well he was leaning against my shoulder raptly absorbing the story, asking questions when he wanted something clarified, saying he totally understood why Laura was sometimes naughty, and telling his version of what they should do next. He and his father kept arguing over the interruptions. But Hot Rod couldn't be contained and his father just wanted to hear the story.

I read for an hour. And not having done that for so long in quite a while, my throat was dry. But the response from everyone was so utterly beautiful that I drank some water and decided that my voice would get stronger because this was going to become a nightly activity (at least until soccer season and school started). And it pretty much did. We read Little House (skipped Farmer Boy for now because Hot Rod HAD TO FIND OUT WHAT LAURA WAS DOING!) then On the Banks of Plum Creek, and right now we're close to being done with By the Shores of Silver Lake.

I can't remember if I read all of the books as a child or not, but as an adult they are a surprisingly easy and very enjoyable read. I love the stories, I LOVE the characters, I love the journeys they take as a family and I love sharing it all with my family. And I really, really love how fascinated both of my men are with the story. It's so rare that all five of us are quiet and sitting together. I can't thank Laura enough. ;-)


  1. I've enjoyed these book so much over the years. One of my favorite memories is of my mom reading me The Long Winter one week when I was sick. I'm glad that your family is getting to enjoy them together. I can't wait for my girls to be old enough for me to read them to them.

  2. Thanks for the info, I'm heading to the library today with the "Double Duo" and we'll pick up the Little house on the prairie. Tell Ross I remember watching it with him as a little girl. Those were the days.