“Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs….” These words along with the rest of the Laura Ingalls series filled my childhood. I read all her original books, the books about her daughter Rose and her mother Caroline as well as others based on the lives of people who had been special to Laura. I also had the Little House Cookbook, the scrapbook I Remember Laura as well as read many more of the wonderful books that chronicled the non-fiction and fantasy of her life in early America.As I read through the series as a child, I never once thought that I would be visiting some of the places where she lived. So when Ryan suggested a trip to Pepin while in Wisconsin, I jumped at the chance. I even re-read Little House in the Big Woods in preparation so that everything would be fresh in my mind. And after a wonderful few days visiting friends and family in the Twin Cities, Ryan and I took a longer way back to Pardeeville along the Mississippi. This enabled us to stop by the place where a replica cabin stands on the land where Laura was born and had her earliest memories. But the highlight for me was walking along the shores of Lake Pepin, picking up pebbles just like Laura would have when her family visited the town together. I only kept two, pictured above with my copy of the book. However, Laura shares that she filled her entire pocket with pebbles each prettier than the last so much so that her pocket ripped out of her dress when her Pa put her in the wagon to head back home.
I loved my time on Lake Pepin and am so thankful for these beautiful days to pause and enjoy the places we find ourselves near.