This has been a terrific morning! If you were at the Laura Ingalls Wilder home on this beautiful autumn Friday morning AND talked with me, you were gifted a post card thanking you for visiting Laura’s home!
I would love to learn more about your experience visiting Laura’s homes and checking out the great collection of memorabilia for Laura, Rose, Almanzo and their families. There is so much terrific information about Laura’s and Rose’s writing careers. Does it make me a Laura Groupie that this is one of my favorite topics? Or a Laura Fanatic? Fine with me!
This morning, I visited with a father and son who were part of a large school group. The group (approximately 80 kids) and their chaperons and bus drivers arrived in two huge yellow buses. Some children came with their parents in the parents’ cars. The child, of course, hadn’t visited Laura’s home before. His father told me that he hadn’t either, but he had read up on Laura just a bit before coming.
Next, I engaged a lady who drove a bus with a lot of enthusiastic kids on it. She said it felt as if she might have have 70 of the kids on her bus! She came last year too, so she sort of knew what to expect when touring Laura’s homes, but had a few things that she would be looking for in particular this time. She went away with a post card featuring Laura’s little writing desk. She told me of conversations among the children about Laura’s height…was Laura really a tiny woman? The answer is yes and when you visit Laura’s home, you will be amazed at the way’s Almanzo built things to accommodate Laura.
Before I talked to any other visitors, I went to the museum docent, “If you have a shopping bag — new or used — that I could have, I would pick up the black walnuts lurking on the sidewalk and driveway.” She quickly found one for me so I could be the ‘Black Walnut Hero.’
My next visitors were two Missouri ladies who were making a loop through the Ozarks and happened to see the museum while driving on Highway 60! One had been here before and had read some of the books. The other lady hadn’t had any experience with Laura except through the TV series, Little House on the Prairie which both had watched. They received a card featuring the table where Laura wrote letters in response to the letters she received from children and families about the Little House books. They decided to not do a tour today with the school children, but to come another time since visiting Laura hadn’t been on their agenda and they ‘had things to do and places to be‘.
I’m down to one post card now, so I went to the Gift Shop to get some more and met a lovely couple from Portland Oregon who are road tripping across the country to celebrate their wedding anniversary. They hadn’t read the books, but had camped in a nearby campground and were ‘lured’ to the museum. Their post card featured Pa’s fiddle and went with a promise from them to go home and get the books from their granddaughter and read them! They were following Route 66 back through the West on their way home.
Oh dear, I have an alarm going off telling me that it is time to go! I just can’t break this off. I purchased more cards and wrote two, then told myself to get a grip…I’m going to be late for another appointment. On my way to the vehicle, I met two gentlemen at the highway who were just looking around and undecided if they would tour Laura’s homes. They each received a post card which they were positive would delight grandchildren.
And now, I am at my next appointment, an online Master Mind event with The Story Bistro for which I was about 10 minutes late! My chosen task was to write this post right away while my mental notes were ‘warm’. It’s working. I just had the best time this morning. I’ve had meetings or appointments two days this week at Laura’s homes, officially Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes and Museum. There were tours FILLED with visitors both days with the parking lot full of vehicles. The season is nearly over and I’m just impressed by the enthusiasm I see in the visitors. Most are on a mission to see where Laura lived and learn more.
Their enthusiasm certainly speaks to the necessity for us to maintain Laura’s homes that are in place and to continue to add to the Rocky Ridge Farm setting. We have most of the funding for a new building that would better house the museum artifacts and offer visitors a view of a farm during the times that the Wilder family lived and worked there.
You can help with the needed funding to preserve these things for future generations with your gift. You can donate at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes and Museum website using the secure shopping cart. You may use PayPal. Or if you prefer to mail your gift, the mailing address is Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes and Museum, 3068 Highway A, Mansfield, Missouri 65704. Should you be looking at the website and not this post, the address is also handy in the sidebar.
Thank you for your gift in any amount…we appreciate your help and the children of the future who will be reading Laura’s Little House books, including Little House on the Prairie will always appreciate you!