Comforting Quotes by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867 – 1957) is best known for her Little House series of books for young readers, semi-autobiographical stories about growing up as an American pioneer.

Born in a log cabin on the edge of an area called “Big Woods” in Pepin, Wisconsin, the life she lived was eventually the basis for her classic books. While growing up, the Ingalls family traveled by covered wagon through Kansas and Minnesota with all they owned, until finally settling in De Smet, Dakota Territory. There, they thrived on the open spaces of the prairie, farming and raising animals.

The Ingalls moved around quite a bit, and though it wasn’t an easy life. But it gave Laura a rich trove of memories and experiences to draw upon when she began writing many years later. Here are a sampling of quotes by Laura Ingalls Wilder from her fiction and memoirs. Her books have brought joy and comfort to generations of readers.


“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”


“Persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds.”


“The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.” (Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist: Writings from the Ozarks, 2007)


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“The trouble with organizing a thing is that pretty soon folks get to paying more attention to the organization than to what they’re organized for.”


“Home is the nicest word there is.”


“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”


“As you read my stories of long ago I hope you will remember that things truly worthwhile and that will give you happiness are the same now as they were then. It is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good.”


“The only stupid thing about words is the spelling of them.”


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“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.”


“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”


“These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraphs and kerosene and coal stoves — they’re good to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on ’em.” (The Long Winter, 1940)


“It is a good idea sometimes to think of the importance and dignity of our every-day duties. It keeps them from being so tiresome; besides, others are apt take us at our own valuation.”


“Courage and kindness, loyalty, truth, and helpfulness are always the same and always needed.”


“There’s no great loss without some small gain.” (Little House on the Prairie, 1935)


“Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small, but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.” (The Long Winter, 1940)


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“Remember well, and bear in mind, a constant friend is hard to find.”


“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.” (Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder, Volume One: On Wisdom and Virtues, 2006)  


“Suffering passes, while love is eternal. That’s a gift that you have received from God. Don’t waste it.”


“Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don’t remember me at all.”


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“If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it’s pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting.”


“Once you begin being naughty, it is easier to go and on and on, and sooner or later something dreadful happens.”


“Every job is good if you do your best and work hard. A man who works hard stinks only to the ones that have nothing to do but smell.”


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