Monday, January 24, 2011

Rx: If You're Struggling Through Winter...

The Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder--those are my winter secret. 

They help me smile through mornings like this one: -8 degrees, snow and ice everywhere and--besides shoveling outside--the mark of my second week without venturing away.

But the Little House books shut me up. They stop my complaints (most) and--as everyone knows--complaining just makes everything worse. 

Oh, there's such a thing as asking for help and stating facts, but complaining about what's not to our liking? That just increases the discomfort.

Besides, how can I complain while Pa sits in a snow cave for three days and here I am in a snug, warm house? How can I complain when there's a convenience store a mile away from me (albeit with expensive food) while the Ingalls, with aching arms, are whirring their coffee grinder with wheat for hours a day and twisting hay out in the cold stable so they'll have sticks to burn for heat? Or when there go Almanzo and Cap risking their lives in between blizzards to an elusive farm where there might be wheat to buy so to save a starving town?

Well, somehow I still manage to complain anyhow. (Pathetic, huh?)

But not nearly as much as I would if I were not rereading those amazing Little House books. So that's why I do it each winter, read the books, I mean. To silence my complaining tongue and therefore shorten--and sweeten-- my own long winters. 

Gratitude makes a much more pleasant winter partner.


I'd love to hear which of you also reread these books each year.


"Everything was so good. Grasshoppers were gone and next year Pa could harvest the wheat. Tomorrow was Christmas with oyster stew for dinner. There would be no presents and no candy but Laura could not think of anything she wanted and she was so glad that the Christmas candy had helped to bring Pa safe home again."

... From On The Banks of Plum Creek


Numbers 11:1
"And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it..."


Thickethouse.wordpress said...

What an interesting idea, Debra! I certainly have more Christmas time books than I can really reread every year, but I actually think books about the "long winter" must be more needed! Of course, I like to read D.E. Stevenson all year around because it takes me away from the winter. There is a special two volumes of her books that would be good for this time of year. The first, would be just to let you know the characters in the second book, but you could read them separately too. They are Music in the Hills and its sequel Shoulder the Sky, also published as Winter and Rough Weather. It is the second book which has a winter subplot in which someone almost dies trying to get to the home of a friend through freezing weather. I think I will go reread that. After The Long Winter.

Joanne said...

I just posted about our deep-freeze, and saw that we were on the same page:) Yes, I adore those books...will have to revisit them!
One of my favourite Christmas movies is Little House on the Prairie and the Christmas they never forgot...
Love it!
Stay warm!
Blessings on your week,

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

I absolutely loved "The Long Winter" in fact, I decided that during the summer months when it is SO hot and I am having to stay inside anyways - I will re-read it and it will help me appreciate my life a whole lot more.
Wishing you some sunshine in your life today,
Lisa :O)

Elizabeth said...

In my decluttering I sold my collection of little house books,now I wish I had them back after your post!

Unknown said...

We just had +13 and that is about as cold as we can stand here in NC. We are sooooo ready for 60's.

Carol E Wyer said...

For the first time in many decades we had a wonderful spell of freezing weather and were housebound with the snow for three weeks.I loved it! I sat snug with my pile of books I have been saving to read. It was such a luxury to be able to sit inside and read (or blog) and not feel guilty.
It's a pity it is milder now.
I haven't read the 'Little House' books for years. You reminded me of how good they are. I must go and dig them back out now and hope for some more snow. Enjoy it while you can...we're wading about in muddy fields and sploshing about on wet roads again. :)