Comments: 8
Char's Horror Corner 7 months ago
Wow, that's one hell of a story!
It was hell to live through ... quite the eye-opener, in more than one respect.
Darth Pedant 7 months ago
White-outs are terrifying. I nearly got lost once walking the one block home from my elementary school on a sidewalk I'd traveled nearly every day of my life. The snow deadened all sound and hid *everything* and I missed my house and got quite a ways into the orchard at the end of the street before realizing it. I couldn't even see the trees I was walking between.
OMG, and this at elementary school age? That must have been unspeakably terrifying.

I just read Laura Ingalls Wilder's "The Long Winter", which has at least two instances of people almost getting lost in whiteouts in a blizzard, literally in spitting distance from warm, welcoming houses (one right in the middle of town, another only some few yards beyond the last building on Main Street). I could imagine uncomfortably well what they must have been going through -- and knowing that Ingalls Wilder's books are essentially autobiographical, not fiction, made it even worse.
Darth Pedant 7 months ago
I didn't have the sense to be scared at the time, which is good because it kept me from panicking. When I realized I'd gone wrong I turned around and followed my footprints, then I started calling for my dog so I could use her barking to get a sense of which way the house was. (My dog was part malamute and liked to sleep in snow drifts, so I knew she'd be in the back yard.) Then LATER after I got home and told my Mom about my adventure (thinking it was funny that I'd walked straight past the house because I couldn't see it), she freaked out about how I could have frozen to death within spitting distance of the front door, and *then* I freaked out.

I guess it's a lucky thing that I hadn't read The Long Winter back then. XD
Hahaha, definitely! :) Seriously, though, I couldn't even read that one in one go -- I had to take day-long breaks in between. Anybody who thinks those books are sugar-coated in any way just from just having had a brief look at the TV series has absolutely no idea. And while the language may be accessible to children, the topics definitely aren't "children's literature".

That said, I'm happy for you that you didn't realize the danger you were in while you were out there ... (and I can just picture your mom having a heart attack and melting with relief at the same time)!
Darth Pedant 7 months ago
The truly horrifying thing is that the books DID sugar-coat quite a bit. If you're interested, Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser is eye-opening. I've only read excerpts and blogger commentary on it, but wow. You'll never look at Little House the same way again.,13892613
I actually *was* thinking of "Prairie Fires" and some comments I'd seen on that book vis-à-vis Ingalls Wilder's own. No doubt the naked reality was even harsher -- but even after just reading "The Long Winter", I'll defy anyone to say that the Ingalls and their neighbors lived a blessed, happy-go-lucky life (as you might conclude if you've just seen an episode or so of the TV series). There may be a bit of myth-making in terms of self-sufficiency there, but I think I'm able to see beyond that even in Ingalls Wilder's own writing. And I am absolutely certain I would *not* have been able to get through this book as a kid. As a teenager, yes -- but definitely not as a preteen (for however much the language is accessible to that age group).