When I was in eighth grade and ninth grade, I used to sneak downstairs and pick up “The Long Winter,” my favorite book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series. Over and over, I read about Laura bringing water to Pa, who was haying in the hot summer sunshine. Together they would discover the muskrat house with its thick walls, and Pa would shake his head and say, "It's going to be a long winter," in a way that put the responsibility on him rather than on Laura or me.
I read until I heard the garage door opening. Then I'd slam the book shut, put it back on the shelf, and race upstairs. I was too old to be rereading this children’s book, but I couldn’t stay away from the series any more than I could stay away from M&Ms. My obsession with the Laura Ingalls Wilder books was a guilty pleasure. I craved a change from my lonely, luxurious love. I didn’t recognize that it was love that drove the characters, not poverty. I thought if only we were poor we would be happy.
B. Lynn Goodwin
Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers