Walnut Grove, Minn.-It appears that despite best efforts, the entire Ingalls family fell asleep before midnight and missed the chance to greet the New Year as it happened.
After a hearty home cooked meal and a gallon of coffee, the family spread around the table and fireplace to pursue their own activities to pass the time until the New Year. “At one point, we were only three hours away,” Charles Ingalls informs us. “That’s all I remember from last year though. Last year! Ha! That’s a good one. I’ll have to share that with Caroline.”
We spoke with Caroline Ingalls, who informed us that her husband’s last words around nine o’clock were “This might be the last time I check the time this year.” As Caroline tells us, “Charles passed it off like a joke, but we all knew he would be in bed before long. I mean, there’s only so much that one gallon of coffee can do to keep a body awake.”
Shortly thereafter, Charles changed into his nightclothes, claiming that he just wanted to be comfortable as he sat around the fire smoking his pipe. “We all knew that was lie,” Albert Ingalls comments. “Once the coffee is gone and the pajamas come out, it’s all over. Us kids were sort of taking side bets on when exactly he would fall asleep.”
Once Charles fell asleep aside the fire, it took the entire Ingalls family to haul him into bed. “At that point,” Caroline said, “it just seemed logical that we all go to bed too. I mean, it’s what I wanted anyway. I was really tired. I have so much work to do to keep this house going, plus I have to work at the restaurant tomorrow. Not to mention how early we get up every day. I can’t believe Charles actually thought we would make it until midnight.”
At press time, Charles was going to work at the mill, a task he hadn’t done “since last year.”