Happiness: Listening to the CD of a Little House Book.

One of the joys of my life, these days, is listening to the audio books of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. How I love these books – I’ve read each of them dozens of times (even Farmer Boy), and listening to them with my four-year-old is allowing me to experience them in a new, enormously satisfying way.

When I was young, the last page of Little House in the Big Woods never struck me as particularly interesting, but now I get tears in my eyes every time I read it, and I get tears in my eyes when I heard Cherry Jones reading on the CD, too.

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When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, “What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?”

“They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,” Pa said. “Go to sleep, now.”

But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.

She thought to herself, “This is now.”

She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.

The days are long, but the years are short.

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