Home » A - Z Challenge » Zenobia


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.

Z is for Zenobia.

In 1926, Rose Wilder Lane (Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter) and Helen Dore Boylston (who went on to write the Sue Barton Nurse stories, which I loved) decided to move to Albania. They traveled from Paris, France through Italy and to Albania, where they lived for about a year and a half.

Rose and Troub (Helen Dore Boylston) kept a journal of their travels for Almanzo and Laura. After the journal was discovered, it was published in the early ’80s. I bought a copy of it several years ago, but never read it. I’ve read some of Rose’s works, only because she’s Laura’s daughter. So, it wasn’t until this month that I read, Travels with Zenobia, Paris to Albania by Model T Ford, a journal by Rose Wilder Land and Helen Dore Boylston and Edited by William Holtz.

Actually my favorite passage has nothing to do with the journey at all, but is Rose’s account (in a letter to her friend Guy Moyston) of teaching her father to drive:

The first time he tried to drive . . . he narrowly escaped smashing a couple of other cars on the highway, jumped an eight-foot ditch, ran through a fence, and tried to climb a good-sized oak tree. You see, he had been used to driving a team and when the two cars telescoped down on us, he simply braced both feet hard — one of ’em on the accelerator — and pulled back on the steering wheel with all his force, saying in a firm voice, “Whoa!”
I . . . went head first into the windshield, just as the oak tree uprooted under the car and lifted the rear wheels off the ground. . . . I thought it showed great intelligence in us, when the road got so dangerous with cars, to quickly leave it and climb a tree

Surely, Rose is exaggerating, but it shows a sense of humor and I got a chuckle picturing it all in my mind.

So, you wonder, what has Zenobia got to do with this? Why, it was the name of the Ford Model T that took Rose, Troub and Yvonne (the maid) from Paris to Albania!

Do you name your cars?

And with this Z-post, we are done. Phew! I made it! Didn’t think I would a couple of times there. If it wasn’t for the subject matter, I may have given up. I must apologize, for sometimes I didn’t give it my all. I’ve had a couple of other projects to work on, which were also Laura-related and consumed much of my time on some days.

 **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!**


7 thoughts on “Zenobia

  1. I was wondering what you would do for Z. Yes we do name our cars by the way. The Cruiser was Black Beauty and the Chrysler 200 is The Wild Child. We had two Hondas, Rhonda and Wanda and our van was Big Bertha. Congrats on getting from A to Z in "wilder" style.

  2. Hilarious! I have only read one Rose book (Let the Hurricane Roar), and although I didn't care for the style of it, I do like her style in the intro to On the Way Home – and that above is terrific. I will have to read more of her nonpolitical nonfiction.

  3. I didn't get far with Rose myself. May give her books another go. Mom always named her cars and so do I. My work van, with over 300,000 miles, was Sarah. I call my PT Cruiser the TP Cruiser.

  4. I didn't know about this book. See, I have learned so much from your posts. I am glad you took the challenge. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!susan from nc

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