What was life like living in prairie country in the post-Civil War era? Not so easy, but if you had a storytelling spirit like Laura Ingalls Wilder, at least it was never boring. Born on February 7, 1867 in Pepin County, Wisconsin, Laura would find herself moving with her family to Kansas, illegally squatting on Indian territory, before moving back to Wisconsin then to Minnesota. After a grasshopper plague destroyed their crops, the family moved to Iowa, where Laura's little brother died in 1875, just nine months old. Just a few years later in 1879, Laura's older sister Mary would lose her eyesight after suffering from a serious illness.
Such challenges were seared into the author's mind at a young age, but her family's difficult times was mitigated by their strong sense of family and Puritan values. Laura's memories of her childhood in Wisconsin became the material that she would pour into her Little House series, which she published at the ripe age of 65. The series, eight books in total, would make Ingalls an American icon and literary legend and would find its way into television, musicals, documentaries, and plays.
To celebrate 150 years of Laura Ingalls Wilder, here are some of her beloved quotes.
1. Life begins at eighty.
2. I understood....that in my own life I represented a whole period of American history.
3. I believe we would be happier to have a personal revolution in our individual lives and go back to simpler living and more direct thinking.
4. It does not so much matter what happens. It is what one does when it happens that really counts.
5. Home is the nicest word there is.
6. It is a good idea sometimes to think of the importance and dignity of our every-day duties. It keeps them from being so tiresome; besides, others are apt take us at our own valuation.
7. Every job is good if you do your best and work hard. A man who works hard stinks only to the ones that have nothing to do but smell.
8. Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don't remember me at all.
9. As you read my stories of long ago I hope you will remember that things truly worthwhile and that will give you happiness are the same now as they were then. It is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good.