Saturday, September 01, 2007

A playhouse of our own

Greetings! I have missed you all. Sure, I've been reading your blogs, but it's not the same as actively participating in the kidlitosphere. As you read this, we are preparing to return to Seattle from Victoria, British Columbia. Prior to visiting our relatives in Victoria, we spent a few days in a tiny town called Tahsis on North Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Bede and I won a week's stay in a cabin in Tahsis through Lucia's school auction. The school auction was my very first live auction, and so I didn't know to put my number down right after I had waved it around-- I thought I had to wait until the auctioneer called out my number. After we won the week's stay in Tahsis (and we'd had no idea where it was other than the description provided), I gave the number to Bede and said that it was safer for him to hold it. I doubt we'll attend the auction next year ( we'll go to the more financially feasible Family Night).


Remember the playhouse I wanted to build for Lucia? We'd decided to build it from scratch, using plans I'd ordered online. As the summer progressed, that option seemed less likely. In the end, my aunt and uncle bailed us out by getting for us a kit. It arrived the day that two of our beloved brawny cousins came to visit. My uncle and the two cousins build the playhouse/garden shed in a weekend. They were undeterred by the rain.

For perspective, here is what my brothers and I used as a playhouse when we were children:

Yes, we played in a doghouse. My grandfather had built it for our St. Bernard. The St. Bernard never used it, so we did. The doghouse was dark and windowless, but two children could fit inside it comfortably as long as those kids didn't mind resting their heads on their own shoulders.

After I moved to New York City, my mother and her boyfriend bought a house on the Maryland side of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. The house had a treehouse built onto the deck extension plus a gazebo in the woods below the house. The woods were filled with mosquitoes (note: it's a bad, bad idea to build a city on a swamp), but the gazebo had screens, and I spent a good amount of my visiting time sitting in the gazebo with citronella candles around me. Here's a picture:

Could those people in the photo actually be Ulric and Brad the Gorilla? Impossible! Brad is over 450 lbs. There is no way he could sit on a hammock without breaking it. But lo, here he is:


Here is the photo for which you've patiently waited:

Here is what the playhouse looks like from our bedroom window:

The size of the playhouse, including the porch, is 6 X 9 feet. It feels as if we've increased our living space. We're planning on putting window boxes or potted plants by the porch, and we need to clean up the dirt and mud tracked in because of the rain.

Now I can understand how Philip Pullman is able to write his books in a shed. Maybe I'll take my guitar out to the playhouse and give back a little of the love that's wafted its way over via supersonic car stereos and people bellowing "Car wash! Car wash!" for their various fundraisers.

In the upcoming days, I'll let you know about a new Saints and Spinners feature I'm developing.


unclewilco said...

great playhouse..

would you care to share it with our sheddies?

eisha said...

Aw, look at Lucia in her new house! So adorable!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

It looks like the shed in which Dylan Thomas wrote his best poetry. It is too good for a little girl's playhouse and the doorframe is so high it could still be her playhouse when she is sixteen and bringing back young lumberjacks... Perhaps you should stick a mattress in ready for those far-off days!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

UncleWilco--Sure! Thanks.

Eisha-- She's quite thrilled about it, though it only got finished before we left for vacation. Now we've got to do the scrubbing and staining.

YP: It's not so much that it's "too good" for a girl's playhouse is that it's too big for JUST a playhouse. And you know, I had a stilthouse when I was a teenager (no photos, alas, or I would have posted them), and the boyfriends did hang out there quite a bit.

Lone Star Ma said...

Cool! A very fancy playhouse -definitely a good place to write novels! (But certainly little girls are worthy of such structures for their playhouses! Too good, indeed!)

adrienne said...

Okay, the playhouse is even more awesome than the sparkly "storyteller" shirt, and that is saying something.

Someday *I'm* going to have a playhouse. Of course, I kind of treat my house like a playhouse, so maybe I'm covered....