books: little heathens

Last spring, I finally got my hands on a book I’d been eyeing for awhile: Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression. It’s an older woman’s memoir, and reading it was very much like sitting on a front porch, rocking alongside Mildred (the author) as she reminisced in a very prosaic, very simple way. I was completely charmed. What a fabulous window into a life I’ll never know.

Having her childhood memories tucked away was also fun when I later read Parenting by the Book, as John Rosemond refers regularly to “Grandma’s common sense” style of raising children. His reference was fresh in my mind, having just read about young children who knew how to work, respect, would never dream of throwing a tantrum, and loved life.

On the flip side, her story made me a bit sad and acutely aware of how completely dead the form of religion is. Her family had gone to church for generations, but by the time she and her siblings arrived on the scene, that was about all there was to their Christianity. Knowing how to tell the truth and work hard without complaint is nice, but knowing Jesus is even better.

(I’d like my kids to know both.)

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