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A Lantern in Her Hand

I freely admit that I am a total book nerd.  When I was a little girl, I had to have a stack of books with me before I left the house.  That would often be 3-4 books, because I read so fast that I didn't want to be without a book!  I wasn't the kid who got in trouble for being loud in school....I was the kid who got in trouble for sneaking her books when she should have been working!  Thankfully I had very understanding teachers that knew I was a fast worker and just let me be most of the time.

After having Clara, my book reading dropped dramatically.  My first book that I actually got to read was "A Lantern In Her Hand" by Bess Streeter Aldrich.  I've read this book before, but it took on a whole new meaning to me this time.  The story, (for those who haven't read it) is about Abbie Deal, a young woman who moves to Nebraska during the pioneer days and follows along with her life.  I've always been a little obsessive about pioneer days harking back to the first time I read "Little House on the Prairie".  That series ignited a passion in me for reading and I encourage everyone to introduce their children to them.

The part of the book that really struck home was in the introduction.  At one point, Abbie Deal was reflecting on her past with her grown children.  Her children kept mentioning how hard and uncomfortable her life must have been during the years when they had first settled the land.  Her simple quote of "Those were the best of times" really stood out to me.  The life of a pioneer woman was HARD.  Trying to carve a living from native prairie soil, while trying to fend off wild animals and hostile Native Americans wasn't easy.  Not to mention trying to keep her young children from dying of disease or accidents.  Now THAT would have made a good reality TV show!

That is exactly how I want to remember my time here on the farm.  I want to be able to tell my children what an adventurous life their father and I led and encourage them to do the same.  Hopefully this blog will be a great memento to show them someday that their parents used to be really cool and adventurous :)

In addition to being a great fan of pioneer days, I also love Nebraska history.  And the Bess Streeter Aldrich museum just happens to be up the road in Elmwood, Nebraska!  I sense a road trip in my future...

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