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.