"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Road Trip - Saturday

Saturday we got up bright and early, visited a little more with Don while we had breakfast, said good-bye to them both till we see them again at the wedding, and got an early start north.

Fitzgerald keeps us company on the dashboard, a throw-back to my high school traveling days when I *borrowed* a baby from a spider plant in a McDonald's, kept it in a little container with a macrame hanger and had a squirt bottle for watering, which was sometimes used to water my sweet sister, too.
Some other things that keep us company, since we didn't already have enough company, are the art works sculpted by the girls as we drove along.

Southern Wisconsin looks a lot like eastern Michigan, kinda flat and not so many trees. Pretty in its own way. I enjoyed the quilt block art on the sides of barns, but wasn't quick enough to get pictures.
Middle Wisconsin was kinda cool in the way that we'd go up a large hill, looking like we were starting into really hilly country and then we'd crest it only to find more flatland, just up higher.

Then we made it, after going through part of Minnesota, to Burr Oak, Iowa, where Charles "Pa" Ingalls managed a motel, where Ma and the girls worked the kitchen, and where Grace Ingalls was born.

I was surprised at how small everything was - the tavern (into which the ladies would never have gone), the parlor, the bedrooms (3 to a bed, sideways).

All the girls got to try the pump organ, which is not the one that was there when the Ingalls were there, but is similar.

Sarah practiced again for the wedding. I think she's happy she won't have to play a pump organ then.

We got to see rope beds and how they were tightened weekly by Ma and the Ingalls girls, and we learned (and relearned for some of us) about the saying "Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite."

I, of course, noticed the lovely quilts on all the beds.

Faith, however, took pictures (with Phil's old cell phone) of all the chamber pots. Strange child.

Of course, the Hoosier caught my eye, too.

Ruth and Hannah enjoyed a game of checkers in the low-ceilinged small dining area.

Throughout the house were these banners with rules by which Laura said she and her family tried to live.

Laura didn't write a story about the short time they lived here because it was rough for them. The atmosphere was rough and Pa soon decided to take them back to Walnut Grove. They had also recently lost their only son, Charles Frederick, as a baby. Mary was blind by this time also. But we learned here that Laura's journal/autobiography is going to be published this spring, so maybe we'll learn more about this time in their lives.

Back in the car, I pulled out one of the diverting activities I'd planned. We had used this activity previously and it's a favorite because it involves M&Ms. I used Peanut M&Ms in the hope that a little protein attached to the sugar would help people not bounce off the car walls. I think it worked.

We made it to the Minneapolis area in plenty of time to enjoy a swim before we ordered pizza and watched a movie in our room. Our hotel is only about 5 minutes away from Pastor Jeff Evans' church where we plan to worship tomorrow.

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