Sunday, July 24, 2011

Will the real Laura Ingalls Wilder please stand up?

Whenever I drive down 94 East I always see the exit sign for Laura Ingalls Wilder's log cabin, but I have never had the opportunity to diverge and visit it. I had 4 days off from the pool this week and I wanted to make it an epic vacation. I asked Jessica, my social studies kindred spirit and fellow blogger, if she wanted to accompany me on my journey. I was very dramatic about this invitation. I said, "Do you want to come with me to Laura Ingalls Wilder's log cabin? I am going whether or not you say yes."

Luckily, she did say yes. And so began our journey.

I must admit that it is very silly for me to blog about this mini-adventure because she has already done so, and so eloquently, on her own blog. Read her post here:

She touches on the fact that our childhood dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder were shattered when we stumbled upon a letter she had written at age 78, stating that she did not like teaching and would not be able to write any more letters, as she didn't like it very much and was getting old. Also, the pictures of her as an old woman made her appear crotchety and stiff. I was a bit disenchanted.

Jessica was appalled when I explained to her that the log cabin was only a rendition. Keep in mind that the last time Jessica and I were together, we were touring George Washington's estate. It's hard to beat the authenticity of that experience. I remember walking through George Washington's living room, looking at the original mirror and thinking, "I'm looking at my own reflection in the same mirror that George Washington looked at his own reflection." It doesn't get much more powerful than that.

Standing in the replica Laura Ingalls Wilder log cabin, I said Jessica, "I just don't feel it. I don't feel her here."

Jessica agreed.

So to curb our disappointment, we did a photo shoot, blew bubbles, and Jessica dared me to ridiculous things, which I did without hesitation...such as...

"Maddie, wear this bonnet"...and...

"Maddie, try to climb up her cabin"

Maybe it was disrespectful to act so ridiculously at Laura Ingalls Wilder's supposed place of birth. Something tells me Laur didn't have quite the same sense of humor as Jessica and me, but overall, it was a wonderful experience. I got to go on the road trip I wanted. I got to see remnants from a childhood historical icon. And I got to spend time with one of my favorite people.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Did you read the series as a child? How would you compare her writing to child author Avi? (your favorite) You and Jessica make a good team for blogging....loved both of yours!

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