Farmer Boy is the one story in the Little House set that does not talk about Laura. It tells of her husband, Almanzo, as he grew up on a farm in upstate New York. There is so much interesting information in this book, historically and otherwise.
If you're interested in self-sufficiency, you'll find a wealth of information.
If you like little humor, there's plenty here!
If you want nuggets of wisdom, the Wilder family can share plenty.
Here's just one little thing that jumped out at me this week. Almanzo and Father were threshing the wheat in the barn during a winter storm.
Almanzo asked Father why he did not hire the machine that did threshing. Three men had brought it into the country last fall, and Father had gone to see it. It would thresh a man's whole grain crop in a few days.
"That's a lazy man's way to thresh," Father said. "Haste makes waste, but a lazy man'd rather get his work done fast than do it himself. That machine chews up the straw till it's not fit to feed stock, and it scatters grain around and wastes it.
"All it saves is time, son. And what good is time, with nothing to do? You want to sit and twiddle your thumbs, all these stormy winter days?"
"No!" said Almanzo. He had enough of that, on Sundays.
- Taken from Farmer Boy in the chapter entitled Threshing
That is a great example of how the Wilder family lived, and Almanzo carried this work ethic into his adulthood. When he moved out west to the Dakota Territory, he fibbed about his age so he could apply for a homestead. The requirement for free land was that you must be 18 years old and be willing to live on and work your land for 5 months out of each year for a number of years. Now, I don't condone lying. This just illustrates Almanzo's willingness to jump in and start farming.
When he and Laura were married and had moved to Missouri, they purchased a farm, where Laura and Almanzo worked it all by hand. Almanzo found and hauled large rocks and boulders from his farming site and used them to build a house.
Today, we have all manner of things to fill our 'time.' There's plenty of entertainment out there, and it's fun to be entertained. And if we can work hard and have fun, we will have a very rich life.