holly hobbie

Surprisingly, Laura Ingalls Wilder isn’t impressed by the items constantly kept cold.

I’m becoming less impressed with Laura Ingalls Wilder.

She doesn’t understand how lucky she is to be in this world. Where road trips can happen at 60 miles per hour, in the comfort of our station wagon. We’re standing in our warm garage. You wear these to stay safe in case of an accident, I tell her. She eyes the seatbelt warily. An accident in this? she asks, gesturing to the car. Yup, I say. They happen all the time. She looks at me very directly, for the first time. I don’t ever want to travel that way, she says.

It’s almost dinnertime and reruns of Benson are on, so I drag L.I.W. to our playroom and turn on the TV. Watch this, I tell her.

But L.I.W. seems to be fading. Her eyes droop shut and she sags slightly to the left. I poke her a few times, because this is a really funny episode. But she just lies down on the couch, her braids looping over the cushions. Oh well, I think, grabbing a bag of Doritos. More for me.

L.I.W. sleeps for 33 straight hours. My mom marvels and my dad peers at her through his glasses and my little sister stage-whispers DOESN’T SHE HAVE TO GO POTTY? I guess not. Maybe pioneers are tough that way.

My dad decides to put her on my bottom bunk, without asking me, I might add. He scoops her up carefully and we all follow him down the hall to my room. As he steps into the room he knocks L.I.W.’s head against the door jam. Shoot, says my dad, and we all freeze. But L.I.W. is still out cold, so we continue to the bed and hold our collective breath as he sets her gently onto my Holly Hobbie comforter. Hey, where’d she go? my dad jokes. Ha ha, we all say. But it’s true — L.I.W.’s calico dress blends right in.