Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Little Imagination

Tonight we finished the first chapter of Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I try to read to Matthew and Alex before they go to bed. They usually fall asleep as I read. Tonight Alex said, "Mom, I'm not going to sleep or anything. I'm just going to close my eyes to get an imagination about what you're reading." Precious.

I have always been a huge fan of Little House on the Prairie, since my childhood years. I read all the books as a little girl, and am truly excited to bring this into the lives of my boys. From the television show, scenes of Laura and Mary running through the plains, pretending to be birds, makes me forget that they started out in the woods of Wisconsin - the big woods. No neighbors, for miles; surrounded by deer, bears, and other wild animals. I was fascinated by all the preparation it took to prepare, for long winters. The planning it took to kill, cure, smoke and store meat was amazing. Laura's dad would hang meat in a log and Laura would supply the hickory wood chips to add to it, and Voila! - smoked meat to store away, for the long winters. Duh! I was able to discover the meaning behind the flavor of my Hickory Smoke Barbecue sauce. Forgive a city slicker. Thank God, for the coveniences we enjoy today! That way of life is so foreign to me. Only my imagination can experience it.

"Even my wildest imagination could not cure my anxiety, Diana, " was the bit of the drama that would come from the mouth of Anne Shirley, in Anne of Green Gables, another beloved series. Anne's love of books carried her through the marvelous landscapes of Prince Edward Island, and countless opportunities, for hilarious mishaps. She breathed life into everyone she encountered, and grew to become a prolific author and speaker. Diana was blessed to have her as a "bossom friend."

A coworker of mine grew up in Wisconsin; he used to tell me stories of the lake his family lived by, the long walks to the school bus, fishing, work around the house, and the bitter cold. His descriptions created a beautiful picture, for me. Books are so valuable in its ability to create a unique vision in the minds of all who enter them. As much as I love the conveniences we enjoy today, there are plenty I could do without. Electricity has its perks, but I really enjoyed the two week interuption after Hurricane Charley. Life stopped. I was able to help my parents clean up the damage from their roof; gather the shingles in the back yard; barbecue each night and swat mostiquitoes by flashlight who snuck in with us, well after curfew. A little less convenience, a lot more imagination.

I would give my TV, for the opportunity to be bored. I envy those who complain about it. Oh, what I would do with free time. Children in the colonial days worked hard, but they had time to be carefree and dream big dreams, create, produce, invent! Their parents didn't rush to FAO Schwarz to get the lastest toy; children made their own. Each year Charlotte County hosts Colonial Days at a local park. Sandi and I took our boys last year and loved watching them play tug of war, sling shots and marbles. BJ (my oldest), rolls his eyes when I swoon over the idea of pitching stones.

In Little House in the Big Woods, Laura describes the dolls she and her sister would play with in their attic. Mary had a real doll named Nettie, and Laura loving cared for her corn cob, wrapped in a handkerchief - her name was Susan, she was a good doll. "It wasn't her fault that she was a corncob," Laura confidently proclaimed.

I don't know about you, but I just want to quit my job and move in with them!

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