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My daughter and I started reading the Little House books in the last few months. Much of what Maria Howe spoke of resonated with me. When the financial crisis became the dominant narrative, back in September, we in Houston had just come through Hurricane Ike. We were forced to live simply, rely on ourselves and our neighbors, and get outside of our houses during the day and go to sleep when it became too dark. We were also confronted with the reality of how much is done for us, like maintaining traffic lights and clear roads and electricity and water, and how much it costs. It was a difficult two weeks, but part of me misses that time. It forced us to slow down and think about how much we have. I feel as if it prepared us for what may be down the road. I came away with the understanding that I have a responsibility, to my family and my community, to be prepared to take care of myself and others, to make myself known to the people in my community, and to stop depending on some powerful entity to come and fix things right away for me.

My daughter, who is five, is intrigued by Laura Ingalls Wilder's stories of hard journeys, dark nights, and spending every moment of every day engaged in survival. She's connected her time after the hurricane to Laura's stories-they are both so different from the life she has known. I turned to these book because I want my daughter to have a sense of how much our modern existence gives to us, and how much it robs from us, at this time when this existence seems imperiled. I want us to look forward with a sense of gratitude and opportunity.

I love Repossessing Virtue. Please keep these conversations coming.