Friday, July 3, 2015

Calling Caroline


   So lately I've been feeling an attachment with Caroline Ingalls (mother of Laura Ingalls Wilder), and for several reasons. This all started back in the beginning of May. I'd just found out that I was pregnant, the weather was getting warmer, Dan was gone long hours during the day so it was just me and Carl and I felt like death run over.

  The nausea and exhaustion made me wonder if I was pregnant or perhaps terminally ill. Toiling outside in the heat of the afternoon sun with a two year old made me collapse on the couch at 8 o'clock in the evening (I still do this) with the ceiling fan on high and watching re-runs of Little House on the Prairie.

  I think the first episode I caught was when Charles and Caroline finally have a son but he ends up passing away several months episode I've seen a million times already because, let's face it, my whole life I have watched Little House. Anyhoo, the episode begins with Charles noticing that Caroline hasn't been eating much lately and her telling him that she is expecting again. Instantaneously I felt better about myself. After all, if Caroline Ingalls ate like a bird in the beginning of her pregnancy, then it must be ok that I wasn't eating like I used to either!

  And so began another time period in my life that I became obsessed with the show.

  Sometimes in the evenings we have all sat and watched Little House. Quite frankly, it's a much better quality of show to have on the t.v. for a family setting. Right now I don't want my son to hear about one shooting after another, terrorists, and YES, people changing their gender. I know I can't shelter my kids forever, but for right now by God I'm going to try. They can grow up in a home that shows others learning right from wrong and attending church every Sunday (which makes it into a lot of Little House episodes.)

  On one of these evenings we caught the episode where Caroline becomes pregnant with Grace. In the beginning she's dizzy and needs to sit down. I pointed to the screen and shouted at Dan, "See! Even Caroline Ingalls needs to sit down throughout the day when she's pregnant!" Later in the show Caroline goes off on an emotional rant. I felt better again! Carl pointed to the t.v. and said "What's that?" I told him that she was pregnant and cries a lot too...just like mommy.

  So I swear we don't just watch t.v. in the Shawhan household and I promise this post relates to chickens...I'm getting there.
  What I also love about the Ingalls matriarch is her both her struggle to be a good Christian woman (always turning the other cheek to Mrs. Oleson) but also her egg income. (Here comes the egg part!) What would it be like to get 4 cents a dozen instead of over a dollar? Just like Caroline Ingalls, every so often I run into town with Carl in tow (usually on our way out to the library) and we drop off anywhere from 10 to 16 dozen eggs to a friend of the family. THANKFULLY the family we sell our eggs to is nothing even remotely close to that of Mrs. Oleson and her bratty daughter Nellie. Talk about the difference between night and day!
  My little egg income makes me happy; after all its better than nothing when I'm not out in the workforce and "bringing home the bacon". I like to think Caroline may have felt the same way.
  Some days I can't help but wonder if Caroline ever felt like she was going to lose it. Home all day with small children...doing all the domestics just to wake up and do them all over again the next day. Did she ever lock herself in the outhouse for just five minutes to save her sanity? Did she feel a slight resentment to Charles? Or the woman who worked at the post office? The school teacher because they got to "get out and have a life"? Did her head feel like it was going to explode, yet she still had to change that poopy diaper, fill a bowl full of goldfish and go turn down the burner on the stove so supper wouldn't burn? I'd like to think so...after all we are only human.
  And yet we wouldn't give up or trade our lives for any other in the world. We have good days and we have bad days. Some days are a combination of both. And when you get $20 for two weeks' worth of eggs, it feels pretty darn good appreciating the small stuff.