Saturday, April 20, 2013

Focusing On Life 52 Weeks~ Week 16 ~ Take A Walk

This is the view through the front door
from the inside of what used to be our children's playhouse 
 turned garden shed.
I designed and decorated this old door to look like stained glass
using the lead lining in the tube and stained glass paints back in 1991.

You see, for the prompt this week we were told to take a walk.
So I did.
Down Memory Lane.

I did not realize at the time how difficult this walk would prove to be.
This past week we began the monumental task of cleaning out and tearing down this old shed.
As much as we hated to do it, the floor had rotted out after it had settled lower onto the ground and some of the trim boards and roofing and siding had bad areas too so we decided to order a new one to replace it.

But during the course of this week my emotions went the way of the demolition.

Upside down and inside out.
And I soon realized,
Nothing would ever replace it.

The year was 1991
the shed was original to our house
dirt floor ,open door, typical old outdoor tool shed.
We had covered the failing wood shingled roof with tin prior to this
and after building a larger outdoor storage barn/studio  the year before,
decided to convert this into a playhouse for our daughter
who had just turned 7. 
 Our son who was 2 at the time, would later get a fort of his own, complete with trap door.

We had salvaged the door from a renovation we had done on a rental house and cut it to size.

Ready for occupancy except for the front steps.
We planted some camellias in bright pink
and even added some pink gingerbread trim to match the wraparound porch on our house.

Inside, I painted the floor with porch floor paint and stenciled designs around the perimeter.
My husband built 2 bunks onto which we placed air mattresses and even a handmade quilt.
We hung a closet rod to hold all the dress up outfits.
There were storage drawers and boxes to hold items like play food and dishes,
dolls and clothes, art and craft supplies.
No this was no ordinary playhouse, it was a dream house.

There was a ladder to a full carpeted loft above for even more play area.
There were sleepovers out here, more plays and pageants than I can count with neighborhood kids, food was cooked in the play kitchen, babies were fed and bathed and put to sleep and imaginations were nurtured.

With the exception of the first 4 photos taken this week,
the rest have been culled from photo albums and scanned .
It was the process of looking through those albums
seeing all these pictures
finding myself way down memory lane
 that a flood of emotions came over me
taking me back
making me realize the significance of losing the playhouse.

I found myself wanting to go back to these days,
even if just for a little while
duck my head and enter
sit to a tea party with my hostess
most likely dressed in a gown, play makeup and all,
and just soak it all up.
Enjoy every moment without feeling like there was something else I should be doing,
places I needed to go, errands to run, work to do, half distracted
the way most mother's feel at that time in their lives.

Since that is not possible,
I will have to content myself with these photos
and all the wonderful memories
have a good cry
and start over with my grandchildren.
Tea anyone?

I would also like to thank everyone for their comments last week, I have been unable to respond yet and visit everyone's posts but I will work on catching up over the next 2 weeks as I will be away again next week at Art and Soul.
Now you can take a walk, over to The Studio Sublime to see all the other great posts.


  1. What a great post and thanks so much for sharing. Funny that I shared "old" photos this week too :-) have a great time at Art and Soul - any chance you are coming to Art Bliss in the Fall??

  2. What a wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading that.

  3. What an absolutely wonderful dream house for your daughter! I can imagine how hard it was to see the little house go. But you have beautiful memories that will always be with you. I love being a Grandma and spending hours playing without the guilt!!

  4. Oh, and the door is fabulous!! I hope you saved it!

  5. How sad to see that beautiful play house dismantled !! I loved being a part of all those plays & songs sung to me & fashion shows especially with my old prom gowns !! Now you have to make new memories with Landon, Savannah & Aidan...hope I am there to take part in the new tea parties & shows wonderful it was to have such a fun filled play house with Lindsay & Jesse...I will always remember those special times with sad to see it tumbled over !!

  6. What a great look back down memory lane. Every kid wants a place of their own, and you made a place that holds many wonderful memories. I'm sure it was a sad day when it was dismantled.

    Thank you for sharing!

  7. What a great post. A walk down the memory lane. You are very talented to do such details on that little house. Indeed it was a dream house. Your post was like a poetry. It had such lyrical accent. Dita

  8. Laura, what a bittersweet post. I tell you, I felt like I was in your shoes. I am the same, not wanting to put away things with such special meaning, and in this case - take down completely. I can see why this brought back so many strong memories. You sure painted a picture for us, not just with words but with actual photos. You are a remarkable Mom. To be so organized, you even had these pictures printed out and in albums, ready to scan in the present day. I have yet to finish a real album other than the digital kind! Lindsey looked so sweet at age 7. And Jesse was so adorable. It was really neat to have the chance to step inside the house as it used to be - yes, the dream play house. And to see the toys they had too - like that cool blue convertible! What a tough decision to take the house down, you are a strong woman, Laura! You have the wonderful memories and the pictures - and now this beautiful blog post. Thank you for sharing this walk down memory lane.


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