Almost Empty Nest

Duncan just got the keys to his flat yesterday, he’s one of the few first time buyers to be able to get a mortgage at the moment, so we just got one son moved out of Dundee a few months ago and now we’re busy moving Duncan into Dundee. It isn’t my favourite place in the world, it seems so remote and far away from what I think of as civilisation, but it’s as close to St Andrews as any normal person can buy a place nowadays and his drive to work won’t be so long now.

It’s going to be really weird having no ‘children’ in the house, after 24 years my husband and I are going to be on our own again. Tonight we had them all around the dinner table though and they’re going to be with us over Christmas and New Year as usual.

So for the next few days I’m going to be running around furniture shops because despite the fact that our house is overflowing with antique furniture, mainly inherited, he wants his place to be new and modern – what a pain!

I just had enough time yesterday to get a quick look at The Guardian G2 section and read this article on Little House on the Prairie and Laura Ingalls Wilder

I watched the tv series as a youngster and although the whole frontier thing really attracted me I seem to remember that I was driven round the bend by the whiney youngest girl. Was her name Amy? As the youngest of 3 girls and with 2 older brothers as well, I was nothing like her at all and she seemed to me to be really spoiled so I don’t think that I ever read any of the books. Did I miss something and are they worth reading as an adult?

4 thoughts on “Almost Empty Nest

  1. What a great article! I was also raised on the Little House books and though I grew up in Michigan, which isn’t really so far away, the prairies seemed absolutely foreign to me. I wasn’t a big fan of the TV series. I recently reread parts of the first few books with my youngest daughter who’s 9. I still really liked them — my favorite was Farmer Boy (maybe I just loved all the descriptions of the food).

    You mentioned that you bought an out of print set — is there a different edition available in the UK? I grew up reading them with the Garth Williams illustrations too. My daughter’s version has full-color versions which are quite nice.

    • Karen,
      There is a new edition of Little House on the Prairie – (Oxford University Press) -which just came out in January, but I’m drawn to Puffin books, I suppose it’s a nostalgia thing.
      That’s an advantage of having a daughter, you get to read ‘girlie’ books with them. Farmer Boy sounds good.

  2. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books are purely classic works. Her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who was an accomplished writer, helped her mother shape her memories into these incredible books.

    The absolute best ones in my mind are the following: The Long Winter, On the Banks of Plum Creek,–oh, dear, the titles are jumbling in my mind after a day of struggle with student research papers. You won’t soon forget your experience with The Long Winter, though. It documents the unprecedented, severe winters in the Dakotas during the 1880s. The Ingalls family came damn close to starvation, but they made it through. It’s a wonderful book. The writing is concise, simple, exquisite. I heartily recommend it and am certain you’ll love it. It’s a quick read!

    • Judith,
      I think I’m really going to enjoy these books. The whole idea of the pioneering spirit really appeals to me.
      Thanks for the information. I think we’re going to have a very long winter – again. It’s batten down the hatches time here!

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