last weekend we took a very delightful trip to Laura Ingalls Wilder Days in mansfield missouri. it was such a blessing in so many ways. B really enjoyed dressing the part of young laura ingalls and i had fun sewing the prairie dress (except when i couldn't find the directions for the bonnet and had to make it up as i went along, and when the pleats on the pantaloons didn't come out right, and the pattern made a simple dress waaaaay more complicated than need be...other than that, i really enjoyed getting back to the sewing machine). ;o) but i digress...
...while B was busy imagining the life of a 9 year old girl in a covered wagon, i was so pleased to learn more about the woman/farmer/wife/author she became. i have been enjoying two new books that i purchased at the gift shop: On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894 and Laura Ingalls Wilder: Farm Journalist. both of these books reveal the true character of a woman who faced and overcame many hardships. a woman whose determination and courage are the epitome of the american pioneering spirit.
"The Little House Books are stories of long ago...the way we live and your schools are much different now. So many changes have made living and learning easier. But the real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful: to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong."
~Laura Ingalls Wilder
and to this mama's eye, she was the cutest prairie girl around! *smile*
B made friends with a girl just her age at the contest and it was a highlight of the trip! together they played, chatted, and twirled their dresses while they waited through the long procession of laura and almanzo look-alikes. they had decided to become pen pals, but sadly, she slipped away with her grandpa afterwards before addresses could be exchanged.
B in her prairie dress, apron, bonnet, and pantaloons. however, she ditched the stockings and shoes and went barefoot for the look alike contest.
B and grammy waiting for the play to begin in the outdoor theater
in the presentation of "Laura's Memories"
we visited the grave site of almanzo and laura ingalls wilder.
stepping back in time
i loved this little window
B sitting on the porch of the rock house
it was a really special time for just the girls to be together.
i know we will treasure the memories of this trip!
rocky ridge farm, mansfield, missouri
"When I look around the farm now and see the smooth, green, rolling meadows and pastures, the good fields of corn and wheat and oats; when I see the orchard and strawberry field like huge bouquets in the spring or full of fruit later in the season; when I see the grape vines hanging full of lucious grapes, I can hardly bring back to mind the rough, rocky, brushy, ugly place that we first called Rocky Ridge Farm. The name given it then serves to remind us of the battles we have fought and won and gives a touch of sentiment and an added value to the place.
"In conclusion, I am going to quote from a little gift book which my wife sent out to a few friends last Christmas:
'Just come and visit Rocky Ridge,
Please grant us our request,
We'll give you all a jolly time-
Welome the coming; speed the parting guest.' "
A.J. Wilder, July 22, 1911
A.J. Wilder, July 22, 1911
everyday gift: celebrating an american treasure, laura ingalls wilder