In January, I decided that I really wanted to reread the Little House books. You know, the ones with Ma and Pa and Mary and Laura. . . The ones by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I had read the whole series in my elementary years, and read them again, aloud to my kids, when my kids were young. Which means it has now been at least a dozen years or so since I last read them.
So, I made it a personal goal to reread the entire Little House series in 2014. So far, I have finished the first five.
This time through I am not only enjoying the stories those books contain, but I am finding fascination in the details of life back in the 1870s/1880s. The work ethic people had. The expectations for how children should behave. Or, really, how anyone should behave. The emphasis on considering others, on how children were taught to be respectful and to give some thought to how their actions might impact the other people around them. How people faced adversity with determination rather than sitting back and expecting someone else to bail them out of a tough situation. How people creatively made do with the resources they had at hand. How much pleasure they got out of simple things.
It is a very interesting contrast to modern day life.
So, I challenge you, too, to read these books. Even if you did a long time ago as a child, read them again now. At least two or three of them. As you are reading, concentrate on the details. On the underlying outlook on life.
If you are following my Living on One Income series of posts, also think about how content the Ingalls family (and their peers) were with the small amount of material items they had. Notice their frugality, and also their willingness to do whatever it took to get by. Those are key factors to being a one-income family in this day and age.