It’s only a little light, but it makes all the difference. (from The Long Winter by Laura Ingals Wilder)
I am posting for Shanna tonight because her home in Boston has no power. I just finished The Long Winter and enjoyed it so much. It actually cooled me a bit in the midst of a hot summer in Texas. We have blasted through a record for the most days over one hundred degrees in a year and we have felt it. Reading a book about a pioneer family stuck indoors for seven long months of one blizzard after another was deliciously cooling. Another technique I have employed is visiting Hobby Lobby, an air conditioned craft emporium which already has a sizeable section stocked with Christmas stuff. Strolling the Christmas aisles makes me forget that it’s actually 105 degrees out. It’s wonderful.
Well anyway, when Shanna texted me that she needed me to post the quote tonight because she has no electricity, I immediately thought of this scene in The Long Winter. The Ingalls family, of course, didn’t have electricity in their home at all but in this scene they were also out of kerosene for their lamp and coal for the kitchen fire. So while Pa twisted hay to make sticks to burn, Ma fashioned a little lamp out of grease, cloth, and a button to give the family a little light. I’m glad Shanna doesn’t have to go to such extreme measures, and that she and Spur can enjoy reading by candlelight knowing the power will return with time. But I also think it’s wonderful how going without can make you appreciate something so much more. The little button lamp, Pa said, was only a little light. But it made all the difference.