On my, the cottonwood trees elicited an unexpected emotional response! That happens to me every now and then.
On to The Homestead!
This site sits on the 160 acres of land that was part of the original Ingalls claim. In a land surrounded by oceans of corn and soybean fields, this restored prairie like a big open room where kids can run and jump and twirl and feel absolutely free!
Free to climb a tower and admire the view.
Free to ride playground equipment no longer deemed safe for 21st century children.
Free to pet cats and calves without hired farmhands telling you to leave them alone.
Free to lift your little sister on to the back of a pony and take her for a ride (as long as the pony cooperates).
Free to pump water to your heart's content from the well that Pa dug.
Free to clean your own seed.
Free to make a rope (and plenty of room to swing one).
Places like the homestead make work seem like fun -
On the property there are several replicated dwellings, all based on the books.
A Dugout -
A Claim Shanty -
A Barn -
The expanded claim shanty with the room for Mary's organ -
A Stable -
A short session in a one room school house -
The wagon ride to the school and back -
We lingered as we ate our picnic lunch on the covered porch. It was time to go. Time to say goodbye to the places where Laura's spirit lives on, time to leave the freedom of the open sky and drive through the canal-like highways leading through the towering corn on both sides of the road. Time to return to our own Little House Among the Pines.