Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Big Minivan in the suburbs...

One of the many things that I am enjoying about homeschooling is having time with my girls in the afternoons and evenings to read aloud.

Yesterday we started reading Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The Little House books are ideal read-aloud books. I have always loved how so much of this book describes the small details of their lives. Tonight we read a passage of the book which describes cooking a meal on the prairie.

"While it heated she (Ma) mixed cornmeal and salt with water and patted it into little cakes. She greased the pan with pork rind, laid the cornmeal cakes in it, and put on its iron cover. Then Pa raked more coals over the cover, while Ma sliced fat salt pork. She fried the slices in the iron spider. The spider had short legs to stand on in the coals, and that is why it was called a spider. If it had had no legs, it would have been only a frying pan."

There is nothing flowery or lush about this description, yet the girls and I were mesmerized. We could see it all, the orange coals, the dark night, the frying pork on the coals. The book is filled with these descriptions of everything. How the covered wagon worked, how laundry was done- there is even a complete description of how Pa built their house. There are no cheap tricks, no literary devices, just the story of one family making their way across a piece of America which was still wild and full of danger and promise.

I wonder what Rebecca and Lily would write about our life.

"Today Mom needed groceries. She pushed a button on her key fob. The button made the door to the minivan open. We climbed into the minivan and pushed buttons to close the doors. Then we put on headsets. Headsets are headbands with speakers so that we can hear the movie playing in the car. After watching the movie for five minutes we were at the grocery store. Mom got a cart with a cup holder. The cup holder is for her coffee cup. She only goes to grocery stores with Dunkin Donuts in them because that is the kind of coffee she likes. She only drinks decaf because otherwise she doesn't sleep well. At the grocery store she looks over the produce and makes her choices. She buys one bunch of yellow bananas to eat right away and some green ones for later in the week."

"Today Mom went to a junk store. She likes to go to stores that sell things that other people don't want anymore. Sometimes the stores are dirty and some of the customers talk to themselves. Mom always finds things we don't need. She buys them anyway. After we leave the store she makes sure that we wipe our hands with Purell. This is to kill the germs from the dirty store. When she gets home she sets up the used items that she bought and takes pictures of them. Then she puts the pictures on her website so that other people can look at her used items too. Then she eats chocolate. She does not share her chocolate. She feeds us apple slices."

"Today Mom spent sixteen hours changing her blog header. First she downloaded GIMP. She worked with it for two hours. She swore many times. Then she downloaded IZoom. She worked with that program for one hour. She swore many times. Then she downloaded Imagewell. She liked it and worked on her header for hours and hours. She only swore a few times. Then she finished it and showed it to us. Then she ate chocolate. She fed us apple slices."

If you've made it this far you deserve a reward- go have some apple slices. I'll be over here with my chocolate...


Karen said...

Ha! I love it!

Julie said...

I remember having a boxed set of Little House books. I'm sure my daughter will, too. She'll love reading them while eating her apple slices.

Lisa said...

Love the new header! It is sweet! I like the descriptions of your life. Who knows in 80 years someone may think they are great as Little House!
Hugs, Lisa

Ginger said...

LMAO...that was so darn cute. I love how you tell a story.
I like the Little House on the Prairie books too, and the reruns of Michael Landon's Little House episodes. They are on every day...I really like the first episodes the best. Somehow they always make their struggles look easy.

Anonymous said...

I grand mother traveled to western Kansas by covered wagon and my mothers side of the family lived through the great depression on farms that were in the heart of the dust bowl. Though these days they are well off, much due to the lessons learned during the depression, for the most part, if you want dinner, you picked something from the garden and killed an animal. And while today there are stores there that provide food to the level one would expect in a major city, my relatives in western Kansas have a greater understanding and respect for life than most Americans.

These are the people that fed this country through depressions and wars and went on to teach the world to feed their hungry. And they did it all through strength of character.

We live in a country today where food is a disposables item. But in much of the world, the way people greet each other centers around their most precious commodity, food.

Amy said...

In 1975 or so, my parents decided we were putting the TV in the closet. If there was something we really wanted to watch, we had to drag it out and put it away after. In the evening, somebody read out loud, while the rest of us did macrame or hooked rugs. (I'm NOT making this up. We also went camping a lot, and saw John Denver in concert.) And the books we read were the Little House books. I read them over and over to myself, too. Remember the one where Ma breaks her leg building the log cabin!?

I really like your updated version! Especially the part about posting the pictures of your junk. Bwa ha ha!

You're so good. My homeschooling read-aloud choice the Tuesday was an adult history book's version of the Columbus story--not so charming! You want some cold, hard reality, send em over here!


Cheryl Duford said...

Priceless. Especially the image Lisa's comment evoked ~ 80 years from now this WILL be a child's version of Little House. Too funny. Love the new header. Since it'll last (until you decide to redecorate again), I think it was worth the investment in time and cursing. Besides, it sounds like you learned a couple of new software tricks. Silver linings abound!


David Duford said...

You really had a lot of fun with this post, Sara, well done! I can feel in your writings that you are very content with your life, which is a beautiful thing, congratulations! :):)

Anonymous said...


Have you been peeking in my window?

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna put Nutella on my apple slices. - Ms. TT

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Great post, Sara! I re-read the LH books now and again, and sometimes I feel sort of fraudulent about the kind of life I live, with all its machines and conveniences. I try to keep it as homemade as possible, but there's really no going back, is there? We live in our times and are shaped by our times. What's a girl to do, except love her babies and bake chocolate chip cookies from time to time?


Sullygirl2001 said...

I think this is my favorite blog so far! I often wonder if writting the days of our lives will ever be anything like Little House, it was one of my VERY favorite stories and the shows never disappointed either. Now I am thinking more about writting my memoirs!