Living the country life in a house with very few amenities in the modern world is a challenge. Living the country life in a house with very few amenities in the late 1800s makes my modern challenge look like a cakewalk.
Recently the Marine and I had the opportunity to take a break from home building at our cabin to visit the home built by Laura Ingalls Wilder and her husband Almonzo in Mansfield, Missouri, where she wrote the Little House on the Prairie books.
Walking through that beautiful farm house, and admiring the amazing ceiling support beams that Laura and Almonzo cut down on their property and shaped themselves, was awe inspiring. This beautiful home, with it's low ceilings and picturesque windows was such a wonder for us. My favorite part was the stone fireplace that Laura had Almonzo create in their living room from three slabs of gigantic limestone they pulled from their apple orchard.
To see the craftsmanship of this sweet home, nestled on a rising hill just off the main road on a place they called Rocky Ridge Farm in 1894, and to know that they too started from a small shack they quickly cobbled together to this amazing house over almost 18 years of hard work, side by side, gave me hope that our cabin may soon find it's way to completion too.
Their daughter, Rose Wilder Lane was an amazing journalist and quite successful for her time. She used her earnings to build a lovely rock home for her parents on the far end of the farm while she moved into the lovely farm house that Laura and Almonzo had built together. Being loving parents, Laura and Almonzo dutifully moved in to the new and modern rock house (equipped with electricity and a new-fangled electric stove). But not too many years later, Rose felt the pull of journalism and left the farm once again, at which point her parents rather quickly packed up and moved back into the pretty white farm house they had built together, and where they both spent their final days.
Having endured only two years so far of cabin building, I can completely understand how Laura and Almonzo felt - the new house was certainly nice, but there's really no place like home - especially a home you have built and made yourself. That seems to hold fast no matter what century you live in.