Inspiration Comes in the Oddest Places

Thanksgiving, 2005.
We’re in Branson Missouri for a week of hanging out with Fuzzy’s family. Part reunion, part vacation, much togetherness and frighteningly unhealthy food.

On the way home, I realize we were just a short drive away from where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived the bulk of her married life with Almanzo and Rose. Sadly, it was too late to turn back. We settled for pausing for a couple hours in a place called Artist’s Point, where I bought homemade sorghum molasses and watched the sun set in a valley worthy of being on a thousand postcards.

But it was Laura who followed me home.

Ever since then, I’ve had this idea, one that was expanded by an October, 2006 trip to South Dakota, of doing a modern story juxtaposed with Laura’s journey, of showing the contrast between DeSmet when it was young and Charles Ingalls worried that there wasn’t enough breathing room because the town was growing up so fast, and the sadness of witnessing the death throes of towns like the one where Fuzzy grew up, where family farms are being sucked up by corporations, and kids are fleeing to the big cities.

There’s sadness, but there’s beauty, too.
But I’m a city girl, and I worry that I couldn’t tell the tale properly.

3 thoughts on “Inspiration Comes in the Oddest Places

  1. Melissa, ironically there was a book review in our local paper today of a book called “Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist:Writings From The Ozarks.” By the time the Little House books were published, Wilder had been a workikng journalist for over 20 years, writing a biweekly column in the Missouri Ruralist. Her columns focused on her “ardent defense of country living at a time when more Americans than ever were leaving farms for town or city life.”

    The reviewer goes on to say, however, that Wilder was a “passionate advocate” for modern conveniences, and wrote of the day when “everything in a woman’s kitchen will be done by electricity.”

    I treasure my hardcover set of the Little House books, circa 1965. I’ll be really interested in reading this one.

    By the way, I have a new blog called Bookstack-come visit sometime.
    It’s here:

  2. I did a search for sites that might help me not feel so alone in my depression and hopelessness. This one came up so I figured I would comment. You know what they say, the older you get, the less you are invited to weddings, and the more you go to funerals. On that positive note, I invite you to come to my blog,, and join me in my delightful spiral into death depression and nothingness.
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