Thanks for joining me!
Actually, the real journey began a long time ago for me and this blog is just another “step” along the way.
Once upon a time, many moons ago, a little girl hopped and skipped her way to the public library in a little town somewhere close to the southernmost point of the African continent. And on that most significant day in her life, she met Laura Ingalls Wilder who lived in a Little House In The Big Woods of Wisconsin in the USA and they became best of friends.
What was it about this book that made such an impact on me? I read books and blogs written by other women about “becoming Laura”, “tracing Laura’s footsteps”, a pilgrimage to each of her homestead sites, walking barefoot in creeks, running barefoot through wet grass… (I’ve done that in our small garden in suburbia and pretended I am Laura – how weird is that?) I read about women (inspired by Laura’s Ma), trying to find a strawberry mold to leave an imprint on freshly churned butter, making apple pie with green pumpkin and pickling green tomato preserves … a Ma who knew how to make cheese and sew dolls and make butter and I realize that, just like me, these women were most probably born with that “self-sufficiency gene” – is there such a thing? A gene that makes you want to preserve, bake your own bread and pies and tarts, dehydrate fruit and vegetables, make sausage, smoke bacon, have a vegetable garden, have a fruit orchard, make candles, have jars of lard stored somewhere in a cellar. The gene that makes you want to create a home that is a “little house” filled with love and laughter and family values. (Wait, that part isn’t a gene, just a heartfelt hope most women share.) A Laura house. We are Laura wannabes. And it is a good thing, I reckon. My mother made jam and baked rusks and bread and canned curried beans and bean salad and I learnt as much as I could. Whenever I helped her in the kitchen, I gave a nod to Laura and told her “see? I am almost like you.” So I give credit to my mom as well ❤
I read Little House In The Big Woods and told my mother “one day when I’m big I want to live in America”. I wanted to say “one day when I’m big I want to live on the prairie” but that wouldn’t have made sense to her or anyone. Dreams do come true because today, many years later, I live here in my beautiful little (big) house in New York and I am happier than I could ever have imagined to be. And yes, I have waded barefoot in Plum Creek but more about that next time…
“Ma put her wooden cheese hoop on the board, spread a clean, wet cloth all over the inside of it, and filled it heaping full of the chunks of salted curd. She covered this with another clean, wet cloth, and laid on top of it a round board, cut small enough to go inside the cheese hoop. Then she lifted a heavy rock on top of the board.
All day long the round board settled slowly under the weight of the rock, and whey pressed out and ran down the grooves of the board into the pail.”