Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On the Banks of Plum Creek

I don't admit this often but I grew up "On the Banks of Plum Creek". Actually, I grew up on a farm where the creek runs through my dad's field.

Growing up in a town that got its name on the map for a popular TV series wasn't a big deal to me. In fact I have been more inclined when I tell someone where I'm from, to name the next largest city close to my town just to avoid all the questions about Laura Ingalls.

I have seen the local museum, attended the outdoor play at dusk and visited the Ingalls family caved in sod hut probably almost 100 times each. But during my years of growing up, I didn't think much of any of this stuff.

Now that I have a family of my own, my girls have helped me appreciate all the history and culture of this small town called Walnut Grove. They walk through the museum at least once a year and each time they find something new they hadn't noticed before, they are excited to give me the update. They are very fascinated by Laura's story to the point that they can't get enough of the sights around my home town.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we visited my parents on the farm. The kids visited the sight where Laura once lived and they toured the museum.

The following pictures are taken of a replica of the sod hut the Ingalls lived in. Someone in our group made the comment about how they couldn't believe a family actually lived this way at one time. I couldn't help thinking how similar it is to the way Samson lived the first 2 1/2 years of his life.

One room school house
The schoolhouse included this old world map. This is a close up of Ethiopia but I couldn't find a year on the map.

My parents are very active in their small community with their church and "Laura Days". I like to call my dad "Mr. Walnut Grove". He has a wealth of knowledge, so obviously he has taken more of an interest and has paid more attention than I had all my years growing up on the farm.

But now, when I watch my own kids' excitement over what made this small town famous, I have taken a little more interest in learning more myself.

There were some aspects of growing up in this town that I thought were cool. For one, over the past decades, we have had many celebrities visit our small town. In recent years, my parents have hosted a few of these former or present actors in their home. They hosted Dean Butler (Almanzo), Kevin Hagen (Doc) and Cheryl Landon (Michael's daughter).

I was able to meet Kevin Hagen in 1999 when Olivia was just a new born baby. His sweet wife held her a lot because she loves babies. Kevin talked about his time acting in Westerns and about his celebrity friends. They were just the sweetest couple, very humble and very down to earth.

This past weekend, we also enjoyed several hours of Go-Carting and 4-Wheeling. We had to peel Samson off the Go-Cart to allow someone else a turn. He could have ridden for 10 hours if we let him.

Then last but not least, visiting my 90 year old grandmother June is a must when we make the trip to the big WG.

One last thing...we had the opportunity to meet a very special family over Memorial Day. Nicki, Corey and their precious daughter Allie recently moved to a farm less than 1 mile from my parents. Nicki and I met on our agency's forum and they are 1 year into their wait for an infant from Ethiopia. Small world, hug?!

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Seriously?! I am SO jealous! :) We LOVE all things "Litte House"! How exciting that you grew up there! And that your kids get to have these experiences. Thanks for sharing this. So fun!