Riceford Streams

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Tag: photography


“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”

magnolia blossoms

A Fragile Beauty


Beautiful Living

If we were having coffee, we would be sitting outside because warm weather finally arrived in Minnesota.

We would talk about signs of spring: mourning doves cooing for their mates, wild turkeys gobbling in the distance, the scent of freshly turned soil, perennials emerging in garden beds, and the last daffodils still blooming.

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Historic Lake City, Minnesota

Lake Pepin

Lake Pepin: Minnesota on the left and Wisconsin on the right

When Laura Ingalls Wilder was a little girl in the big woods of Wisconsin, my great-great-grandparents were young immigrants from Sweden living on the other side of Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota. I wonder if their paths crossed when the Ingalls family crossed the frozen lake in 1874 and checked into a hotel while Laura recovered from Scarlet Fever.

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Women’s History Month: Laura Ingalls Wilder

One of my favorite women in history is author Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I’m celebrating her life this month by reading Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography edited by Pamela Smith Hill.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography

I admire many female authors and Laura Ingalls Wilder is my childhood favorite.

Laura began her writing career mid-life as a journalist, publishing short nonfiction columns in magazines and newspapers, such as the Missouri Ruralist. Her topics were ordinary for the time: raising chickens, household management, and food preparation. I imagine her work could easily be compared to today’s lifestyle blogger who writes about her free-range chickens, household improvements, and recipes she found on Pinterest.

It wasn’t until Laura was 63 years old and newly situated in her stone home (which her daughter Rose had built for her parents’ easier living during retirement), that she began writing her memoir, Pioneer Girl. Laura most likely was inspired to log her stories after the recent deaths of both her parents and her sister Mary. She wanted to preserve the stories of her childhood that were set in a unique period of American history, which encapsulated the life of a frontiersman, pioneer, farmer and townie.

Although Pioneer Girl was written primarily to her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, notes in the margins allude to Laura’s desire to share her story in a future publication with a wider audience. She wrote about life at home — not awesome Pinterest houses or uber cool tiny houses, but rather average, ordinary, humble houses — with her family: Pa, Ma, Mary, Carrie, Grace and Freddie (a brother who died in childhood who wasn’t included in the Little House series).

Amazingly her stories about the daily routines of life — harvesting vegetables from the garden, hunting, butchering, school days, bullies, culture clashes, clothing, friendships, courtship and marriage — continue to captivate us. The tight-knit Ingalls family’s quest for a home inspires us as we read how they faced adversity with courage, love, and hope.

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