Laura Ingalls Wilder: 20 quotes on her birthday

Laura Ingalls Wilder has given generations of young readers the gift of discovering what it was like to grow up on the American frontier – on the prairie, in the woods, by a creek, or near a lake. Her stories of life with her parents and sisters Mary, Caroline, and Grace, with adventures in everything from making maple syrup to teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, enthralled readers in a more modern America. And for those growing up in the 1970s and '80s, there was also the TV show – "Little House on the Prarie," which ran from  1974 to 1982 – adapted from Wilder's stories about her own life. To commemorate the 146th birthday of this beloved writer on Feb. 7, 2013, here are 20 of our favorite quotes from the author.

1.Inner strength

"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 would make it flicker because it would not give up."

True friendship

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

Valuing a job

"It is a good idea sometimes to think of the importance and dignity of our everyday duties. It keeps them from being so tiresome."


"We'd never get anything fixed to suit us if we waited for things to suit us before we started."

Life's struggles

"'This earthly life is a battle,' said Ma. 'If it isn't one thing to contend with, it's another. It always has been so, and it always will be. The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are, and more thankful for your pleasures.'"

Importance of positive thinking

"Sadness was as dangerous as panthers and bears. The wilderness needs your whole attention."

Perception of others

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


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

Importance of moderation

"Vices are simply overworked virtues."

Everyday blessings

"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."

Putting down roots

Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Home is the nicest word there is."

Honest work

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Rocky Ridge Farm By Timothy M.N.

"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."

Appreciating life

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum By Scott Catron

"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."


"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."

The holidays

"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."


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


"Never bet your money on another man's game."

Life's pain

"Suffering passes, while love is eternal."


"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."

Pride in hard work

"You should never be ashamed of work you have done only work that you haven't."