At my 7th birthday party my friend Laurie gave me a book titled Laurie and the Yellow Curtains about a little girl who had a playhouse decked out in all that a little girl could dream of, right down to those yellow curtains. Much as I longed for a playhouse, it was never going to happen. Still, I read that storybook time after time and dreamed.
When I had a little girl of my own, I knew that I wanted her to have a playhouse where she could spin tales of the grown up life she would lead. We found a kit to build just what I had in mind at a local lumber yard and got down to business. Just as I had imagined, our kids spent many happy hours in that little house.
I noticed it today as I puttered in the yard. The house that was once a part of everyday play has faded into the background unused and overgrown. Time has taken its toll and the playhouse, now ramshackle, looks forlorn.
The porch is buried in ivy, and one of the side railings is completely missing. The roof, once straight and proud, is now scalloped from rot and the nibbling of squirrels. The wood is rough and weathered. No one has crossed the threshold in a decade. Even so, it is hard to let it go.
The little playhouse bore witness to the childhoods of my children. In it they hatched schemes and dreamed dreams. It served them well, but the chapter of our playhouse years has passed. This afternoon I took these final photos of the old place. Later, my husband disassembled the roof, and salvaging what we could, we used those boards to build a rustic raised bed for the garden.
Life goes on. We either learn to change and adapt to a new purpose or we outlive our usefulness. It will be fun this summer to see how many strawberries grow in the new raised bed out back. Somehow, I think they will taste extra sweet.
Thanks, Laurie. I loved the gift of this book. It spoke to my imagination.