Friday, February 7, 2014

From a Sod House to Harry Potter

I have my grandmother to thank for introducing me to books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I didn't realize at the time how those books and that writer would influence me or how the storylines would follow me through adulthood as favorite ones ever read.
I don't remember how old I was when I found "Little House in the Big Woods" wrapped in tissue paper under the Christmas tree. It would be the first of many of this author's books I'd receive. I never had a favorite. From "The Long Winter" to "On the Banks of Plum Creek" I absorbed every word. I could see Laura living in her sod house or surviving what must have seemed a never-ending winter.
Sometimes I'd take one with me when going to play in the chicken coop clubhouse and sometimes, I found time to read. The books fit right in to the surroundings since the chicken coop had been gutted and filled with the remains of an abandoned one-room schoolhouse. It mirrored the classroom in the TV classic-"Little House on the Prairie" except our clubhouse had a crooked door and a few windows without glass-allowing snow and rain to come in.
Back then  I was aware of a little inkling stirring inside me that I wanted to write. I didn't know what or how but there was something about books-and words-and telling stories. I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder stories because they were about family. While it was her family, much of what she wrote I understood as I had siblings and lived where winters were-and still are-long and severe. I never lived in a sod house but loved reading about her sod house.
None of us share the exact same family stories. What we share are feelings and memories-and that's what I loved about her books. Her influence remains.
I wonder what young kids today with a similar inkling stirring inside them will do since so many have been influenced by JK Rowling's "Harry Potter." I find the possibilities exciting. Words inspire. Words make a difference. Words awaken young minds-even young minds playing in a chicken coop clubhouse.


  1. I loved the Little House books when I was growing up. I used to play in my woods and imagine that I was Laura going about my chores. :) Her words touched my heart and I can still remember how much I enjoyed reading about her family and all they went through. As an adult I became a huge HP fan, so I can imagine how much fun kids are having reenacting the magic of HP when they are playing. I agree with you that words make a difference. Great post!

    1. Glad you enjoyed! I also loved reading anything by Louisa May Alcott-liked the Bobbsey Twins too!