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.
C is for Charlotte.
Charlotte was Laura’s beloved rag doll.
In each stocking there was a pair of bright red mittens, and there was a long, flat stick of red-and-white-striped peppermint candy, all beautifully notched along each side.
They were all so happy they could hardly speak at first. They just looked with shining eyes at those lovely Christmas presents. But Laura was happiest of all. Laura had a rag doll.
She was a beautiful doll. She had a face of white cloth with black button eyes. A black pencil had made her eyebrows, and her cheeks and her mouth were red with the ink made from pokeberries. Her hair was black yarn that had been knit and raveled, so that it was curly.
She had little red flannel stockings and little black cloth gaiters for shoes, and her dress was pretty pink and blue calico.
She was so beautiful that Laura could not say a word. She just held her tight and forgot everything else. She did not know that everyone was looking at her, till Aunt Eliza said:
“Did you ever see such big eyes!”
-Little House in the Big Woods, Chapter 4: Christmas
-by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Did you know that in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s unpublished (so far) Pioneer Girl the cherished Charlotte is really Roxy?
I love Charlotte, or the idea of her. Several years ago, I had an order form from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri. At the time, I was still very busy raising my kids and helping my husband operate a very busy business. I could only dream of visiting Laura’s homesites (except for the quick drive-through of De Smet in 1978). The closest I could come was filling out the order form with what I would wish to have, then my husband would pick from it and place an order for Christmas that year.
That year, I got Charlotte for my Christmas. I was well into my thirties.
|She is beautiful!|
And then, in 2007, the dream came true and I was able to go to Rocky Ridge (Laura’s homesite in Mansfield). In 2009, my husband and I made a marathon Laura trip and Walnut Grove, Minnesota and De Smet, South Dakota were two stops that weekend.
In De Smet, my husband surprised me with a Charlotte (with a matching quilt!). He snuck her in with my purchases.
|She’s beautiful too!|
When we went to Walnut Grove the day after De Smet, I just couldn’t get another Charlotte. She had to wait another couple of years and I sent for her.
|The first Charlotte must have started the tradition of the blue calico dress.|
I guess you could call this a collection (some might call it an obsession). Charlotte. ♥
Have a happy C-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!**