Saturday, March 01, 2014

These Happy Golden Years :: A Read-Aloud Thursday / Reading to Know Bookclub Post

World's longest title ever.

02'10'2014l

In a last-day-of-the-month push, we finished our recent read aloud - These Happy Golden Years. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking my girls on this literary journey, (re)introducing them to some of my favorite people of all time, the Ingalls family. We have deliberately spaced the books out instead of reading them in one right after the other and decided to jump back into the series in conjunction with the February Reading to Know bookclub (who actually read Little House on the Prairie).

This one was a delight to reread. For those that might not remember, this volume tells the story of the sweet and simple courtship of Laura and Almonzo, and the growing relationship that lasted over three years before they finally got married. My girls (now 10, 8 and 6 1/2) were finally old enough to "get" this book in the series and my 8-year-old would repeatedly ask me "are they or are they not going to get married in this book?!?!" To her utter frustration, I wouldn't tell her. : ) That came back to get me as said 8-year old is now quite a fluent reader, so she snagged the chapter book at bedtime and just happened to read ahead a few chapters to satisfy her curiosity before turning out her light one night. We have now instituted a "no reading ahead" rule in our house - one that we haven't had a need for before!

As the mama, what struck me this go round was how few material belongings Laura had. When she would travel to teach in the little one room Brewster schoolhouse, or when she packed her trunk at the end of the book to move to live with Almonzo, all her possessions could either be carried in a small carpet bag or small trunk. Such a contrast to this day in age where the message from media is more!, bigger!, better! I think this all is striking me as we are nearing the season of Lent and Easter and I'm spending time in the book of John. I'm hearing the message of what it means to love one another. What it looks like to serve another. How that might not fit with the American quest to buy! more! stuff! My thoughts are still choppy about this topic, and I'm still processing but that struck me. She was so happy to go and marry Almonzo. Completely satisfied with her tiny house that he built her with his own hands. Felt there was not a single thing that they needed in the world. My, times have changed.

All-in-all, a delightful return trip with the Ingalls and one that I enjoyed sharing with my girls this February.

Past Little House reviews:
The Long Winter
By the Shores of Silver Lake
Little House on the Prairie

Belatedly linking up with Read Aloud Thursday and the February Reading to Know linkup.

2 comments:

  1. What a delightful journey! After seeing Laura and Almanzo's final home on Rocky Ridge this past summer (which I'm sure was MUCH fancier than their first home), what struck me was how much Almanzo truly loved to work with his hands. He built Laura a custom, pint-suzed kitchen! He did needlepoint! He carved numerous walking sticks! And the list goes on.

    I need to re-read all the Little House books, but I think their being the playlist if my girls' younger years sort of burned me out. (Shhhh! Don't tell anybody!)

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  2. More, bigger, better! You're right. I'be been on a simplification kick this past week. Because all of my possessions most definitely do NOT fit inside a carpetbag!

    Working on getting the wrap-up post up. Also working on completing OUR read of The Banks of Plum Creek. We've got 10 chapters to go! So...2-3 days depending on if we focus on it exclusively. :P

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