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March 17, 2015

On the Banks of Plum Creek


Simplification, however, is Wilder’s usual choice;
and in The Long Winter, the seventh book in the series, we read the harrowing, memorable tale of the winter of 1880-1881 (the one the Indian warned about), which in the Dakotas brought many blizzards from October through April, blizzards that stopped the trains with their food and fuel supplies and led to the freezing and starvation of livestock and homesteaders. Wilder makes of this epic winter an extraordinary story of survival—her family resorts to twisting hay to make “logs” and grinding wheat seed to make bread and gruel. Although, at personal peril, two young men of the town do travel with make-shift sledges to secure wheat to keep the townspeople from starving, the main story of that long winter stays by the barely-warm stove of the Ingalls family. There, huddled beneath blankets, they grind wheat in a coffee mill and sit in the dark all day long to save kerosene, trying to keep one another’s spirits up with stories and songs. Laura’s World by April Bernard | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 17, 2015 8:55 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Reads like some of the Russian novels, "Day in the life", those ones. A dose of reality never hurt anyone, but I fear the children of today will go "huh, what, cartoon, right?" and they won't be ready until it is upon them. Not with the way we spoil them. We spoil ourselves, most adults in this country don't go to bed hungry.

"That's the nice thing about reality though, consequences are immediate and proportional: a short'n sharp feedback, no room for dithering excuses." — Remus

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2015 7:16 AM

What? We've had "historic" bad winters before?

Things existed before 1880?

Who knew!

Posted by: DonRodrigo [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2015 7:53 AM

But that was such a long time ago and the gov't has made everything so much better now, no one has to worry about a thing. Fiddle dee dee tomorrow's another day, filled with rainbows and pink kitty's riding azure blue unicorns.

Posted by: ghostsniper [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2015 8:21 AM

Wonderful pic :)

Posted by: Christopher Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2015 11:32 AM

I fear, Don R., that you have skipped a century. The current crop of thirty-five-year-old "adults" mostly don't recognize anything that existed before 1980.

Posted by: Rob De Witt [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2015 1:28 PM

Last year, I spent the whole year going through the Little House books with my 4th grade homeschool daughter. We dug deep into the hardships and talked about reality. They were gritty, gritty people who never pitied themselves, as they were better off than many. They worked like dogs from sunup to sun down, but loved and laughed and had lives with books and music. Mistakes were made, and then corrected, as their lives depended on it. We live in such a bubble, most people have NO concept of reality.


Posted by: Lisa [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2015 2:34 PM

White Privilege!

Posted by: tscottme [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2015 6:19 PM

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