“In the mornings, Laura and Mary helped Ma wash the dishes and make the beds. After this was done, Ma began the work that belonged to that day. Each day had its own proper work. Ma would say: ’Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday.’ ”
~ Little House in the Big Woods
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Have you been influenced by a teacher? Pamela Higgs was my 4th and 5th grade teacher at McCarter Elementary in Topeka, Kansas. It was right around the time of the American Bicentennial.
Mrs. Higgs had a love for for children and a love for handcrafts. She taught our class the basics of macrame, quilling, embroidery, hand sewing, and other crafts. She also brought in people to demonstrate old-time crafts such as making butter, quilting, and spinning.
My love of reading was encouraged as she read to us after lunch every day. I remember Charlotte's Web, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and Ralph S. Mouse among others. We'd lie our heads down on our desks while we listened to her soothing reading voice. When she read Little House on the Prairie, a passion for Little House books, pioneer stories, old-time crafts, cooking, baking, and making things myself was born. I saved my money and bought and read the Little House books over and over. My favorite is still Little House in the Big Woods. I love the descriptions of daily life.
That's been almost forty years ago now. I still remember Mrs. Higgs fondly because her influence, along with the books of my childhood heroine, Laura Ingalls Wilder, strongly influenced who I am today.
Each afternoon, as I left for home, I'd give her a peck on the cheek. I loved her. I still love her for what she did for me. If I could, I'd give her a peck on the cheek today and say, "Thank you, Mrs. Higgs. Your love and influence changed my life."