There is something really magical about bringing books to life.
I know its not possible with every book, but it sure is fun to try.
If you are going to spend the day in your car with your friend and six kids (ages 4-9) chasing adventures, be prepared for lots of giggles, a few tantrums, potty breaks and pulling over on the side of the road because at least one kid threw up. And it was worth every minute.
Both mine and Katrina’s kids had the day off of school today. Both of our families have also been reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House” books to our kids. Kat’s family is on book four while we just finished the first in the series, “Little house in the Big Woods”. Living in the Twin Cities makes it really easy to create a fun day trip to visit “The Little House in the Big Woods” over in Pepin, Wisconsin (when looking up directions on your phone, look up the Little House Wayside in Stockholm, WI). We realize not everyone has this privilege, so we tried to take advantage of this gift.
“Little House in the Big Woods” chronicles a lot of what life was like living on a farm. It talks to hunting, farming, canning, and food preparations. To fall in line with the book a bit more, I prepared a more primitive picnic focusing on homemade granola bars, energy cookies, chicken salad, and fresh veggies. I even brought some of our canned apple cider and apple sauce made this past fall. I know I am a big dork, and the kids would have devoured sandwiches and chips, but I couldn’t help myself. Tablecloths, napkins, real plates and cups, I packed it all up in antique box and picnic basket.
We packed the six kids in the car, we made a few stops along the way at run down barns and farms to oooohhh and aaaahhhh at the architecture. Here is a little secret about me, there is nothing that makes me swoon more than a two story red brick farm house. Seriously, melt my heart and make it pitter patter like I am falling in love for the first time. The kids just rolled their eyes at us while we got out and snooped around.
We talked about the books we read, what we loved about Laura’s story and when we arrived, we set up our picnic. We devoured our feast and then let the littles run around to exert their energy…an hour and half in a car will make any kid squirly. They played tag and hide and go seek. They wrestled and made silly faces. They were a perfect picture of joy. Or crazy. It’s all in the perspective.
We took the scenic way home along the river, stopped in Stockholm for pie of course, and sang out to the music on the radio. Kat and I talked all things farms and dreams and recipes and plans for the future Gatherhaus cabin.
The kids read books, played with transformers, took naps and sang lots of songs. We stopped at played along the river at a playground, we bought snacks, and everyone got along.
Today was a fun excuse to take a short road trip with friends and explore the scenes and history of a book they love. A day packed full of adventure they will always hold in their memories. I can’t wait for the next one!
Gatherhaus is the enchanting reality of bringing these rare and beautiful pieces together.
People, places, art, and food that inspire us and make us chase after dreams
of deep, rich community and fulfillment.