By the Shores of Silver Lake Discussion - Winter Days
Silver Lake was frozen now and the winter winds kept the ice clean of drifting snow. In the snug house, Laura and Carrie helped Ma with the housework while Grace played. She was toddling around now and when she tired she would climb into Mary's lap and fall asleep. Ma then placed her in her trundle bed and the others settled in for an afternoon of knitting, sewing and crocheting.
Pa did the chores and set his trap lines. In the lean-to he skinned foxes, coyotes and muskrats. Mary did not go out in the cold at all, she loved sewing and stayed in the warm house. At twilight Mary didn't put away her sewing. She told Laura, "I can sew when you can't see to, because I see with my fingers." Laura admitted Mary did sew beautifully and she would never enjoy sewing as much as Mary did.
Laura often grew restless being cooped up in the house and no matter how cold it was outside she had to go out. She and Carrie dressed heavy in the outerwear and loved to go sliding on Silver Lake. They held hands and slid across the smooth ice, first on one foot then the other. It always felt good afterward to come into the house for a good hot supper.
Pa surprised them one day by whittling a checkerboard and taught them each how to play. Ma nor Carrie cared to play much, so after one game with Laura he would put the board away. "Checkers is a selfish game," Pa would say, "for only two can play it. Bring me my fiddle, Flutterbudget".