Sunday, July 1, 2007

A Long Winter's Nap

As I write this, the sun has set, the cool summer breeze blows through the trees, and there are enough clouds in the sky to produce a storm. A thunderstorm, that is. Nothing like the blizzards that the Ingalls family had to endure in The Long Winter.

The sixth novel in the Little House series tells of a winter so bad, no trains could get through to deliver groceries or supplies. Much of the townsfolk starved, and there was no wheat. One chapter tells of how Almanzo Wilder rode south with another townsman in search of a gentleman who had bushels and bushels of wheat stored in his house. Almanzo managed to buy all of this wheat for a dollar and a quarter a bushel. They took it back to Loftus's store in town, where Loftus decided to sell it for three dollars a bushel. A riot ensues outside the store, and Pa Ingalls manages to convince Loftus to ration the wheat to the families for what Almanzo and his friend paid for it.

These days, people wait outside stores for other things. Pa Ingalls, who bemoaned progress in The Long Winter, would be somersaulting in his grave right now if he learned that just two days ago, people waited in long lines outside of stores for a cell phone. But not just any cell phone, no sir--the long-awaited iPhone. I cannot justify spending $500 on a phone, then paying $100 a month for service. The phone clearly does not pay for itself. While it seems like a nifty little gadget, it does not seem worth waiting 6 hours in line.

That having been said, I must find my tent, so I can pitch it in the parking lot while I wait for the release of the last Harry Potter.

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