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