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MatthewHunter

MatthewHunter

Currently reading

MirrorMask (children's edition)
Neil Gaiman
The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth
Ursula K. Le Guin
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
Maud Hart Lovelace
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde, Camille Cauti
Riders of the Purple Sage
Zane Grey
Vampires, Zombies, & Wanton Souls
Marge Simon
On the Banks of Plum Creek  - Garth Williams, Laura Ingalls Wilder Just awesome. Sigourney and I are having such fun reading this series together. There's even more danger for Laura and her family in Minnesota. Blizzards, floods, grasshopper infestations, Nellie Oleson -- life was precarious for the Ingalls on Plum Creek.

Speaking of the scenes with grasshoppers, they gave us the willies. Sigourney kept saying "I don't like gwasshoppews!" I'm not a fan either, but several years ago, Amanda and I did gain some historical perspective on these biblically-proportioned insect plagues experienced by the Ingalls. While on retreat at St. John's Abbey, we took a side trip to visit Assumption Chapel in Cold Spring, MN. I'll let the city's website tell the story:
The history of Assumption Chapel is legendary. It is the story of townspeople gathering together in efforts to rid the area of grasshoppers which were destroying farmers valuable crops.

The invasion happened within the course of 24 hours. One day the grain crops promised a bountiful harvest. By the next afternoon, they were blanketed by millions of Rocky Mountain grasshoppers. Farmers made every effort to stop the swarming insects but to no avail. The crops were destroyed, and, even worse, the grasshoppers honeycombed the countryside with eggs that would hatch next spring.

Minnesota’s governor proclaimed April 26, 1877, a day of prayer and throughout the next few months the people of the Cold Spring area continued to pray. They vowed that if the Blessed Virgin would rid them of the grasshoppers, they would build a chapel and offer prayers to her for the next fifteen years.

The next day, the grasshoppers were gone. The people kept their promise and built the chapel on a hill halfway between the parish in Jacobs Prairie and the mission in St. Nicholas.

Pretty cool, huh? The granite structure has grasshoppers carved all over it. I'd say the Ingalls, who were many miles west of Cold Spring when the infestation occurred, agreed that the sudden departure of millions upon millions of grasshoppers was a deeply religious experience.

As the series goes on, I've become more and more enamored with the relationship between Pa and Laura. They love each other so much, and Pa gets tickled often by Laura's orneriness. It's a model from a much different era of how to be a gentle, consistent parent. LIW's depiction of father-daughter relationships gets me every time!

Sweet, sweet stories. Nothing but five stars across the board thus far.