Friday, February 23, 2024


Sometimes, after school, Lottie goes to an old, fallen-down barn that sits
hidden in the woods on the Stillestead property.
 You'd never see it if you weren't exploring.
The old owner said it was a mining barn from the 1940s.
It's pretty cool.
Lottie has been spending months cleaning up the
 dirt floor and adding some blankets along with a stash of Coke 
in cans for when visitors stop by.
It reminds me of the book 'Mandy' by Julie Andrews, 
which tells the story of a little girl who discovers an abandoned
 cottage and restores it, turning it into her own special place.
I've read it a few times to my girls; it's one of our favorites.
(I read it as a little girl!)
In the last few weeks, Lod's recruited Gigs to help her gather
logs from nearby fallen trees to enclose the exposed area.
On the days Gigs doesn't have to work, he goes outside after school
with Lottie, and they spend hours together fixing it up.
Today, Christian visited the hidden barn and 
couldn't help himself, so he helped them with some construction.
Yay for Dads!
At dinnertime, I rang our bell, and everyone came home.

I know I've talked about this several times throughout the years 
in my blog, but here I go again,
I used to have a playhouse on Fir Avenue in the backyard of my childhood home.
  I painted, cleaned, and decorated it.
I spent almost my entire childhood inside it.
When I got older, my cousin Katie and I renamed it
"The Flower Pit".  We'd pick flowers and dry them by hanging them inside
the playhouse.  Dried flower bouquets were really hot stuff in the 90's
I even ran an extension cord from the one window it had
to the nearest plug on the outside of the main house, about 25 yards away
with a little lamp so I could be there at night.
It was the best at night.
Looking back, it's kind of a miracle the house didn't burn down.
It was such a sketchy set-up.
But nothing bad happened in the 80s.

I didn't know what Hygge was in 1986, 
but I was definitely living it.
When I was in school, I used to daydream about going home 
so I could escape to my playhouse. It was my special spot where
 I could dream and imagine anything I wanted. 
I loved being able to close the door to the playhouse because
 it allowed me to enter my own world where I could use my imagination 
and become anything I wanted.

This is such an essential feeling for all kids.
They need a place, a retreat, somewhere in their lives
to escape, relax, think, and create in.

Well, at least my introverted self needed this,
and Lottie does, too.

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