Juno and a Polish Chicken in Just a couple of chickens

Raising poultry and a family had some really good times.

The second most common question I got from family and friends when I was living the story of “Just a Couple of Chickens” was…

“What’s it like to be living the Laura Ingalls Wilder life?”

(the first most common question I got was:  “Are you insane?”)

I gave the Laura Ingalls Wilder question a lot of thought
… as I pulled my boots on at 3 am in a snow storm,
… or stuffed sodden partridge down my shirt in a flash flood,
… or tried, yet again, to make something tasty out of a rooster.

I thought about how the Ingalls Family didn’t have all my modern conveniences,
…like a garden hose for instance.

But they did have a lot more knowledge and experience,
… so they probably would have known to drain that garden hose before the first freeze.

They did have debt and money worries, and they did have weather issues, and political complications, and they did face health problems.
So I did feel a close affinity… in the romance of the beginning.

But as time went on, I realized that I really wasn’t living true to Laura’s world.
And I never would be unless I made profound changes.

The Ingalls Family, and most of the people involved in that pioneering time, were doing it with total attention and with no back up plan. It was their whole life, and the whole family was involved in every aspect of it. Every minute of every day was spent doing something related to their home, or basic needs, or food maintenance.

They were not trying to work a full time job on the side. They were not coming into it as a hobby.
As deep as we got into our story… we still had to have at least one adult pulling a full time living in our contemporary world to support our adventure.

And so that truth colors my answer to the second most common question I got from family and friends…
but even so, I wonder if my answer is nonetheless accurate.

“What’s it like to be living the Laura Ingalls Wilder life?”
“It is the same for me as it was for them. Extremely difficult, often uncomfortable, and totally – wonderfully – fulfilling.”

And I then also point out that our story ended up the same as Laura’s story.
We lost the farm and had to go make a living some other way…
She eventually became a highly renowned author…