In Which I Let My Freak Flag Fly

I need to tell you something.  I can trust you with this, right?  I mean, it’s a little odd…but I know you won’t make fun of me, because people on the internet are never mean like that.

So there’s this conference.  It’s called Laurapalooza.  I’m not making this up:  It’s a conference for Laura Ingalls Wilder fans.  It’s going on right now, and I’m totally wishing I was there.

I know, right?  Don’t feel bad.  My husband laughed too.

See, I loved the Little House books as a kid.  LOVED.  I liked the TV show too, but the books were really my thing.  And thirty-[mumble] years later, when the ultrasound guy said, “You’re having a girl,” I was like, “Yay!  How long before I can get her into Little House books?”  (Yes, that’s dumb.  Of course boys like them too.  I’ll be reading them to my son in no time.)

Now my daughter is about to turn five, and I’ve been reading the chapter books to her, every night, one chapter at a time.  They’re actually better than I remembered, and there are nuances that I completely missed as a kid.  For example, the relationship between Ma and Pa….I mean, it’s the 1870s, so they aren’t exactly equal, but it’s really quite a partnership.  There’s also a lot of genuinely useful historical insight for researchers (like The Long Winter, which depicts the famous winter of 1880-81, when quite a few of my own ancestors lived not far from the Ingalls home in De Smet, South Dakota).  In fact, I’m realizing that my love of obsession with history really started with these books.

Then, about a month ago, I read an article about planning a family vacation to visit various Ingalls/Wilder family sites.  I made my husband promise that we’d do it.  Some people dream of Disneyland.  Not me.  I want to go to Walnut Grove.

Then I read about Laurapalooza.  Check out this schedule.  Who wants to hear a talk about the Long Winter Seed Trip?  I DO.  Who wants to take the side trip to see the Betsy-Tacy neighborhood?  ME.  Who wants to see the guy who played Almanzo in person?  SIGN ME UP (seriously, because I saw his picture and he still looks good, and if you’re the same age as me you know you would swoon too, so just shut up).

Yeah, I’m THAT geeky.  I felt you should know.  And I’m already planning to go to the next Laurapalooza in 2012.  All I need is a sunbonnet (and money, and childcare, and a playlist for the drive to Mankato…but first, a sunbonnet).

(Oh, and remember when I told you about the tornado that hit Old World Wisconsin?  They’ve been closed this whole time.  They’re still closed.  They lost something like 2,000 trees.  But they’re finally going to re-open just in time for the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Days event, which is awesome.  If you’re in Wisconsin and want to support them, you should go.  It’s fun even if you’re not even remotely as dorky as me.  Go here for details.)

Photo by cesarastudillo

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