5 Life Lessons I Learned from Watching “Little House on the Prairie”

Ok, I’m a bit of a dork. Some might even say “sappy dork.” I’m a sucker for mushy love songs, valentines cards and romantic dates. I also, for as long as I remember, have loved shows like “Little House on the Prairie” or corny Hallmark movies based loosely on any Janette Oke book EVER WRITTEN. It doesn’t matter what it is … I will watch it. And God help us ALL if there’s some kind of marathon on because life as we know it will come to a screeching halt so I can watch Half-Pint trudge up the side of that windy mountain to pray to God to save her little brother. I’ll sit there, tears pouring out, a sob in my chest, transfixed, waiting for Pa and Mr. Edwards to find her. Everything is right in the world.

I love stories about the first pioneers settling the Old West. Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t last five minutes living in the Ingalls family’s tiny lopsided shack, stripped bare of running water, air conditioning, and proper plumbing. But it’s still nice to dream about a simpler time, before Pizza Hut and Mine Craft, Rated R TV shows and emails. For real.

When somebody asked me why I love these shows so much, I realized there are some very applicable life lessons to be learned from these kinds of shows. For brevity’s sake, I’ve listed 5 for you.

1. Ma and Pa can do ANYTHING. Build a log cabin from split logs? Check. Kill a chicken and have it on the table for dinner? Check. Plant 105 acres of wheat with nothing but a mule and muscle? Check check. They don’t need anyone’s help, they don’t need credit cards, and they don’t owe anyone anything. Can I get an amen from the house? If Caroline was here right now, I’d give her a fist bump, if she had the time.

2. There’s nothing a good fiddlin’ session can’t cure. Burly, tanned Pa, after working the fields all day, whips out his fiddle for a couple of hours, and everything is right in the world. Can you tell I had a bit of a crush on Michael Landon as a girl? Is it that obvious?

3. Sometimes, people just need their butts kicked. There was rarely an episode where Pa didn’t, after a lot of prayer and seeking God’s will, punch somebody’s lights out who REALLY HAD IT COMING. Pioneer justice RULES. Did anybody come put Pa in jail for assault and battery? Nah. First of all, they didn’t have one and it would take the next town’s sheriff approximately 40 days to travel there to even enquire about it. Go Pa!

4. Fashion is an option. Remember how all the Ingalls girls wore the exact same dress to Sunday School each week? Ma, in yet another selfless act of devotion, took the light blue material meant to be used to make her own dress to miraculously sew three dresses for her rag-tag kiddoes. I don’t know how much material Pa thought Ma needed, but I’d be super mad if it stretched THAT far. Can you imagine how much it would cut down on laundry if your kids only had one school outfit and one church outfit? Man.

5. Family comes first, and good friends are worth their weight in gold. Even in Walnut Grove, you sometimes need backup. You never know when you’ll need them if the bull gets out or someone comes down with the influenza or a real bad cold or smallpox.

Hey look! It’s a Little House marathon. I can’t wait to see what that Nellie Oleson is gonna try this time!


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