Tuesday, July 8, 2008

sheila's doll house

when i was in college, i saved up all my spare change one year and bought my little sister sheila a dollhouse out of the sears catalogue for christmas. it arrived in thousands of pieces and a big flat box, and my stepfather spent hours in the basement putting it together.

sometime shortly after i moved to connecticut, the dollhouse arrived at my house, battered, somewhat disheveled looking, but more or less intact - sort of like me. i spent the first summer in connecticut without my children fixing it up as best i could for meg and libby. it came along when we all moved to pond house, and that first christmas, don bought libby a houseful of doll furniture on ebay.

for the last five years or so, the dollhouse has stood on the now non-existent deck, sporadically played with by visiting children. every once in a while, i used to rearrange the furniture but it really wasn't very comfortable out there, and not condusive to sitting for more than a few minutes at a time.

according to the clutter-busting books i've been reading, the dollhouse typifies the sort of baggage one should toss... an ancient relic that represents not much more than a part of my long-ago past, the sort of detritus that detracts from valuable space and only adds another place for the dust-bunnies to hide.

but i like to play with dollhouses. one of my favorite pastimes as a child was to build them out of boxes and books, because in the name of some perversity too twisted for me to understand even now, i had tons of furniture - but no dollhouse to put it all in. in retrospect, it forced me to be constantly creative, to think in big pictures, to consider aspects of three-dimensional reality i might otherwise have ignored all together.

but, oh, how i always wanted a dollhouse.

i thought this summer that libby and i might fix it up. last night, we went to the craft store, and bought among other things, paper and felt and a little saw.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.


Stacie said...

I noticed the doll house on the porch when we were there!

I don't like clutter, but I'd totally ignore the decluttering books and keep that one! Maybe Libby's children will play with it someday. Or maybe baby Jake. Levi used to play with one at a friend's house.

I didn't have a doll house, but I had a farm set when I was little and would play for hours setting up the farm. My sister was much more girly than I was and I would get her to agree to play farm set with me if I would play Barbies with her. I really didn't like Barbies, but it seemed a small price to pay to have a playmate on the farm.

Have fun redecorating both your own house and the doll's!

Walk in the Woods said...

There's something in this post that evokes this strange salty dampness from the corners of my eyes as I laugh and wave my folded hands around in excitement for you!

Such fun! What a wonderful project!