Bringing In The Sheaves

I have to confess an addiction.

OK it’s really not an addiction… more like an obsession.

No wait, it’s an addiction. It has to be. After all, I can’t go a day without it in some form.

It’s not caffeine. That’s just a given anyway. I need that to live.

It’s not smoking. I wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing.

No, this is a television program.

Survivor? Never seen it. Amazing Race? See my answer for Survivor.

Little House On The Prairie? Bingo.

I’ll wait for you to stop choking on whatever you were eating or drinking.

Better? Good. I’ll continue.

So yeah… Little House on the Prairie. Laura Ingalls and family. Walnut Grove. Michael Landon. That’s the one. I always liked the show as a kid, and watched every Monday night on NBC in the 1970s as the Ingalls family dealt with everyday issues for a family in the 1870s– drought, crops, chickens, money, the Olesons, church, school, mean kids, Indians, crooks, births, deaths, and of course, ending every day with a valuable lesson from Pa and Ma.

I’ve read every Laura Ingalls Wilder book from cover to cover more times than any other book, ever. I still enjoy reading them today. The stories and the characters are just as enjoyable now as they were when I was in grade school.

But the TV show holds an extra special place in my heart. Who could forget snobby busybody Mrs. Oleson rejecting Ma Ingalls’ eggs at the Mercantile because they were brown, and “brown eggs get 4 cents less than white eggs.” Or Mr. Edwards’s jolly laugh and his theme song, “Ol’ Dan Tucker.” Or the lovely Miss Beadle teaching school, then the kooky but sweet Miss Wilder, then Laura herself after she became Mrs. Wilder. Or the adorably dopey Willie Oleson standing in the corner countless times at school. And then there’s Nellie Oleson… wonderful, bitchy, bratty Nellie…. and the endless ways she schemed to get her way against Laura. Mary going blind. Laura meeting “Manly” for the first time and carving their initials in a tree. The horrific fire at the Blind School that killed the wonderful Alice Garvey and Mary’s baby son. Carrie having a dream and meeting her “twin” (the character actually was played by twins).

I have a lot of memories of this show, and they’ve been enhanced because I now watch the show every day on the Hallmark Channel. They used to show two episodes every day from 9-11am, but now they also show two MORE episodes from 2-4pm… so that’s FOUR episodes of “Little House” that my DVR records for me. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

So yeah, I’m addicted. And it probably scares some of you, and probably makes you concerned for my sanity, but I don’t care. So what if the show is schamltzy. And so what if it doesn’t exactly follow the books word-for-word. And who cares that it took on a life of its own for Michael Landon to tell his own stories… I don’t. The show is fun– at times hilariously funny, and at times devestatingly sad. Just like life.

And as for Hot Toddy’s notion of Little House trading cards… I sense a business venture in our future. I’d bet the Nellie Oleson card alone would make us some big bucks.