Little House on the Subdivided Plot

The only television show that rivaled my obsession for Nancy Drew when I was growing up was Little House on the Prairie.  I wanted to BE spunky little Laura – although my personality, through and through, was goody two shoes Mary.

Even more appealing to me than the television series, though, was the book series.  One thing that now amazes me as an adult was the ability of Laura Ingalls Wilder to not only remember her childhood in such detail, but to have the foresight that these stories might be interesting to other people.  Many of the real-life tales in the books must have seemed like mundane every-day experiences for her generation.  But now, we can’t believe that people would save up for glass window panes or be excited about oranges and a tin cup in their Christmas stockings.  And the dangers of Indians and wild wolves that surround your house are absolutely foreign to those of us who grew up in Soccer Mom Suburbia.

I figure my life, too, is going to seem amazing to future generations.  I mean, look at how much has changed since the 60’s.

For example, recently the battery on my car key died.  Not my car – the key.  Now, just think how odd that sentence would have sounded back in the day.  Not the Prairie Days.    The Scary, Hairy Days of the Hippies.  About when I was born.

Anyway, fortunately my car still has an actual lock into which I can stick the key, so I have been using that.  Dimples, however, keeps forgetting that I cannot unlock the car from a mile away.  So, she hits the car running 20 mph, yanks the door, and falls flat on her butt when it doesn’t open.  (She and Wonderbutt both seem to have problems with doors.)

Yesterday, she complained, “I’m tired of having to wait for you to unlock the door,” as I turned my key right and opened all of the locks.

I raised my eyebrows (at least it felt like that was what I did), and smirked.  “Kid, how would you like to wait while I opened the door with my key, sat my butt down in the driver’s seat, settled my purse on the seat, forgot you were there, put my seatbelt on, closed my door, started the car, heard you tapping on the window, remembered you were there, took my seatbelt off, leaned over behind the passenger seat, and reached with the tips of my fingers to pull up a little thingamabob on your door to unlock it?”

She raised her eyebrows.

“That’s right, Missy.  That’s how things used to be when I was a kid.”

“Was that back when Aunt Crash opened her door while your mom was driving and almost fell out of the car?”

“Yep.  Those were hard, scary times.  No child safety locks, no car seats, and no seatbelt laws.  It’s amazing we survived.”

Okay, so it wasn’t wolves and Indians.  But some day it might seem interesting.

My Covered Wagon with a Flat Tire - This Won't Be a Problem When Cars Fly

Posted on January 19, 2012, in Children, Crash, Dimples, Family, Humor, Parenting, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Miranda Gargasz

    I LOVE IT!!!!! I have the same conversation with the boys over video game consoles! One stick and a singular red button. Tough times my friend.

  2. I don’t know how any of us survived childhood. Seriously. I remember lying in the back window of our Malibu.

  3. Back when I was a kid…

  4. I remember opening the door while my mom was driving…our big ol’ Granada. Child safety locks are a blessing. And I think even now I still wouldn’t be able to see over the steering wheel of that big boat of a car. Blech.

  5. Yep, I remember a swinging-out-the-door experience, too. And remember when you could pull the key out of the ignition and leave the car running? Now that was convenient.

    Until the day you pulled out the key, went around to unlock the trunk, laid the key on the fender while you dug in the cavernous trunk, and then drove six miles home along gravel roads only to discover you couldn’t turn your car off because you’d lost the key. Ummm, never mind what I just said about convenience.

  6. Growing up with the show I was pleasantly surprised when I found the books in my 30s – to think, my grandchildren will just as amazed about our lives now.

  7. I still prefer manual locks and windows to the powered kind.
    And driving to work in the snow. Uphill. Both ways.
    Guess I’m just getting too damned old…

  8. LOL! Yes, the things our poor children have missed out on…like manual car door locks. I grew up in a tiny town, so we never locked our cars…which spared me the horribly waiting time! OH, and I was going to say too, that when we were looking to buy a house and walking in the huge back yard, our kids came runny across the long grass like in the Little House on the Prairie theme song and I was just waiting for Carrie to fall down (or, in my case, Katie) and I suddenly was singing the Little House theme song (I live near where she lived) and it was like, “Yep, this is the house for us!”

    • Oh, that’s perfect! You know, we visited Minnesota when the musical with Melissa Gilbert was on stage a few years ago. I was in heaven!

      • I missed out on that, but I’ve been to Walnut Grove, where they have an outdoor pageant every year about the Ingall’s time in the area. It’s set literally on the banks of Plum Creek, which is so fun. You can go see the actual place where their sod house was…though it’s just a slight depression in the ground now. Stilll…very fun!

  9. Perfect. I Kept a grin all the way. I could almost see dimples face when you telling the tale of old. Tee hee

  10. I love Little House on the Prairie and have wondered often if I would have been able to survive there. I decided I wouldn’t. Their Christmas stockings were rather depressing. Yes, I’m spoiled.

  11. Jason’s battery on his key recently died and he hasn’t replaced it, so when we are together I must admit I feel a little for Dimples. How did people manage?!?!

    • No way! I have never heard of that happening to someone before, and now that is two people! Does he drive a Toyota by any chance?

      • No. A GMC truck and actually this is so strange, but the key for my car (a Honda) just went out TODAY. So, he needs to get two batteries. Very strange. We thought the same thing though, too- it has never happened to me before.

  12. That’s awesome. I remember a few things like that and until recently my mom still had to reach back to manually unlock the door of her car. Until it got terminal cancer about a year ago and we had to scrap it.

  13. Ah, the good “ole” days!

  14. Did you find an arrow in your tire? 🙂

  15. Sometimes the passenger door doesn’t respond to my key the first time and my son gets really upset with the door doesn’t open. I think I’ll have him read this post.

  16. I drove a Jeep Wrangler and I’d get the weirdest looks from friends when I had to ask them to lock the door as they exit the vehicle, or when they had to use the crank to roll down the window. You’d think I was driving Fred Flintstone’s car!

    • I think we should still have the cranks. What will happen when I drive off a bridge into a lake and my electric windows won’t open and I was to lazy to buy that handy little gadget you’re supposed to keep in your car for just such emergencies?

  17. Hi!
    Great post! Ah, yes.. memories. My parents stopped telling me about the old days when I was about 5 and asked my mom what it was like to travel across the prairie when she was a little girl and did she see any Indians? needless to say she was not a happy mother…. and I rarely heard anything about the old days again… LOL

    Keep up the wonderful blogging!
    God Bless you!
    The Collies and Chuck 🙂

  18. I would remember my childhood more clearly if I hadn’t watched so much TV. And that was with only 6 channels. My children will be lucky if they remembered that we all lived in the same house. I bet they will “remember” some amalgam of Wizards of Waverly Place and Sweet Life on Deck.

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