Will my favorite crush ever come through for me? Am I crazy to think he will? I wrote a little about my dreams for my beloved on yesterday’s blog “Laura’s Horses” where Laura fell in love with her husband Almaza’s horses and that it is supposedly why she married the man she would call “Manny.” Avaricious little beast! And yet there was love there… and they were poor together at times, suffering even. Their daughter Rose Lane was the one who suggested Laura write the books… It was an inspired idea even if Rose Lane’s books weren’t as good as Laura’s.
Do you know, Laura Ingalls Wilder was asked by a fan, “What was your favorite children’s book as a child?” and she said, “We didn’t have any children’s books when I was a child.” What a tragedy! Perhaps I will write a blog about it tomorrow… to think that the only beloved stories you heard as a child were the Bible and the stories Pa ostensibly told the family.
I also remember reading the apocryphal story of Pa’s fiddle: when Laura and her Manny married, her father gave Laura his prize fiddle, explaining that though he had never had the money to give her all the things he wanted to, he had always tried to give her his best. This is why later, at Rose Lane’s insistence, Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote down her stories about her Ma and Pa. They were her heroes as a child, and she fully believed in them even as an adult.
It was the love that Pa and Ma had for each other and for their children that made them unique. They had no great wealth, they were not uniquely intelligent. Yet as people, at least in Laura’s mind, they were the salt of the earth. Without quite “getting” the melody, I will cut and paste their favorite hymn, “A Happy Land”:
There is a happy land, far, far away,
Where saints in glory stand, bright, bright as day;
Oh, how they sweetly sing, worthy is our Savior King,
Loud let His praises ring, praise, praise for aye.
Come to that happy land, come, come away;
Why will you doubting stand, why still delay?
Oh, we shall happy be, when from sin and sorrow free,
Lord, we shall live with Thee, blest, blest for aye.
Bright, in that happy land, beams every eye;
Kept by a Father’s hand, love cannot die;
Oh, then to glory run; be a crown and kingdom won;
And, bright, above the sun, we reign for aye.
The Happy Land, meant for the blest, was theirs; that was the simple faith of Laura’s family. Yet their truth went beyond a Heaven: it had to do with happiness in this world, too. In Laura’s books she only remembered “the Good Parts” of her childhood because she wanted her books to be a testament to her love for her parents. When a person thinks of all the pointless tell-all’s, the Mommy Dearest genre of popular non-fiction, Laura’s nobility in wanting to honor her parents strikes one as near genius. It is so much harder to build a monument than tear it down.