I'M STALKING THE GHOST OF LAURA INGALLS WILDER

Remember way back in June when we took that family vacation to the beach and how when we passed through Mansfield MO I had to choose between Bakers Creek Seeds or Laura Ingalls Wilder's home? Michael and I talked about how we'd go back eventually and attend one of the Bakers Creek's festivals and go to the Laura Ingalls Wilder home. I figured "eventually" really meant "years from now" or "never", but in actuality "eventually" meant "it is happening." Sunday morning, Randy, Katrina, the Cabbage, Michael and I all wedged ourselves into my car and drove from their cabin near Branson all the way over to Mansfield on a twisty hilly road. I may have goaded Michael into going faster over some of those hills for thrill factor. 

I have to admit that the best good thing about the Bakers Creek festival was the vegan cinnamon roll. There were only a handful of booths there and half of them were produce. Plus it was hot. Really hot. We did not spend a lot of time at the festival, but I did buy more Brussels sprout seeds because I can't find the ones I purchased earlier. The Cabbage got to listen to blue grass music and see some sheep. The next stop was the stop I was most excited about though. Our next stop was the Rocky Ridge Farmhouse, the house where Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote all of the Little House books. Did you just hear me squee? I know right. I knew this was going to be good because as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, we ended up parking next to the cutest orange Volkswagen bus. The couple sitting in the front were from Ontario. I told them that I loved their little bus and I that I hoped they were enjoying their trip. They said they were except for the heat because they did not have air conditioning. Eeesh. They did have a Shaun the Sheep doll in the back and spoke in lovely accents. I almost climbed onto the back and became their stowaway. 

Once we crossed the street and made it to the museum, we were greeted by a very eager and controlling older woman who told us right off the bat that our tour group wouldn't be happening for another hour and I was confused because I just wanted to go inside the house and I didn't need a tour guide for this. When she saw the look on my face she said "forget it. we'll just open the house up for self guided tours today. We're too busy." So with that, we purchased our tickets, watched a short film and then walked on into Laura's house. Laura and Almanzo moved with their daughter Rose to Mansfield in 1894 and purchased the farm. They lived in town until they finished work on a one bedroom log cabin on the farm. They moved here in 1913 while they finished building the farmhouse. The farmhouse would be added too over time making it a bigger space with a formal living room and tiny library nook. Laura Ingalls Wilder lived in this house for most of the rest of her life. She and Almanzo lived for a short amount of time in the Rock House, a house that Rose had built for them on the farm that had all the modern conveniences.  The Rock House was where the first Little House on the Prairie books were written. They have plans to open that house up for tours next year.

I don't know what happened to me once I got inside that house. I didn't take any pictures. I was too busy trying not to touch all the things that had please do not touch signs on them. The first thing Michael did was open the oven in the kitchen and when he leaned down to look in he was right at eye level to one of those signs. Did you know that Laura (we're on a first name basis now) was only 4'11?!? I could have carried her around in my pocket. Almanzo had the kitchen custom built for her height, so all the counter tops are really short. This is only sad if I think about how I could never bake pies with Laura Ingalls Wilder with out having back pains. I did manage to have Michael take my picture on the front porch of the house. So that's something. I realized at some point while standing in Laura's bedroom that I might be slightly obsessed. I started planning trips to her childhood homes in Kansas, Wisconsin and Minnesota (we saw the one in South Dakota last year). Michael did not seem as excited about this idea as I did, but he'll change his tune once I make it a life list thing. I'm sure of it.