My theme for the A to Z Challenge is Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura Ingalls Wilder was the author of the Little House books and there was a television series very loosely based on the books. I began reading the books when I was eleven years old (which even I have a hard time believing is over 40 years ago!). If you would like to read about my feelings about Laura, visit this site. I have also listed helpful sites and blogs in my sidebar if you would like to learn more.
A is for Almanzo Wilder. For those of you who know Laura Ingalls Wilder, this may have been a simple choice. For me…well, I couldn’t let the challenge go by without a nod to the Man of the Place.
In an attempt to try to keep my posts short (which is sometimes difficult), I going to write about my favorite things about Almanzo, mixed in with a few facts.
- Almanzo Wilder was the husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
- Almanzo was the farmer boy in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book Farmer Boy, where we discover that young, hardworking Almanzo loves to eat.
Almanzo at the sweet, mellow baked beans. He ate the bit of salt pork that melted like cream in his mouth. He ate mealy boiled potatoes, with brown ham-gravy. He ate the ham. He bit deep into velvety bread spread with sleek butter, and he ate the crisp golden crust. He demolished a tall heap of pale mashed turnips, and a hill of stewed yellow pumpkin. The he sighed, and tucked his napkin deeper into the neckband of this red waist. And he ate grape jelly, and spiced watermelon-rind pickles. He felt very comfortable inside. Slowly he ate a large piece of pumpkin pie.
Farmer Boy, Chapter 2: Winter Evening
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- He was born on February 13, 1857 and died on October 23, 1949.
- Almanzo was quite handsome with blue eyes.
- Did you know that he was only 5′ 4″?
- He was a quiet man, a man of few words (as I call my husband).
- He was hard-working, a life-long farmer.
- Almanzo was a talented woodworker (like my husband).
- Almanzo had a life-long love of horses, particularly Morgan Horses.
My favorite passage from Farmer Boy:
“Father!” Almanzo exclaimed.
“Can I? Can I really tell you what I want?”
“Yes, son,” Father encouraged him.
“I want a colt,” Almanzo said. “Could I buy a colt all my own with some of that two hundred dollars, and would you let me break him?”
Father’s beard slowly widened with a smile. He put down his napkin and leaned back in his chair and looked at Mother. The he turned to Almanzo and said:
“Son, you leave that money in the bank.”
Almanzo flet everything sinking down inside him. And then, suddenly, the whole world was a great shining, expanding glow of warm light.
For Father went on:
“If it’s a colt you want, I’ll give you Starlight.”
“Father!” Almanzo gasped. “For my very own?”
“Yes, son. You can break him, and drive him, and when he’s a four-year-old you can sell him or keep him, just as you want to. We’ll take him out on a rope, first thing tomorrow morning, and you can begin to gentle him.”
Farmer Boy, Chapter 29: Farmer Boy
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Interesting facts that only I would think of:
- Almanzo’s middle name was James. My husband’s first name is James.
- Almanzo’s initials were AJW. My husband’s initials are JAW (his middle name is Arthur though and not Almanzo).
- My first name is Laura (although I was not named for Laura Ingalls Wilder).
- My middle name is not Elizabeth, but it is Jean. Yeah, I know, I couldn’t come up with anything to connect the two.
- Our last name begins with a W, ends with an R, and has six letters in it as does the name Wilder.
Really…I am a normal person. Mostly.
Have a wonderful A-day!
**Join me and many other Laura fans at LauraPalooza 2012 (the second-ever Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference), which will be held July 12-14, 2012, in Mankato, Minnesota. For more information visit Beyond Little House and look for the heading “LauraPalooza 2012”. The pull down menu will have all of the information that you are looking for!**