“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Playhouse

As a child, did you ever have a playhouse or treehouse?

When I was little, about 7 or 8, I had an actual house for a playhouse. Our family farm had a one bedroom house set several hundred feet away from the main house behind some trees. It had been built back in the early 1900's for the farm-hand to live in. It had no indoor plumbing, but it did have a sink (the water was caught underneath in a bucket). There was a hand pump outside for water. It also had an outhouse. The house was occupied most of the time up until the mid 1950's and then rendered vacant for a decade or so.  It was finally sold to a neighbor and was moved and turned into a small lake cabin.

During it's vacant period, my cousin and I transformed it into a very fine playhouse for a couple of summers. My cousin was older than me and was good at improvising, we scrounged a few odds and ends from the house that my mother let us have. The cats and dogs were our kids and we had a grand old time in there. We did lots of pretending and dreaming there, many fantasy cakes and cookies and fabulous fun was had!

We were already re-purposing and recycling before it was trendy and I don't think we ever uttered the words, "We're Bored!" once. It was the best playhouse ever!  I think my mother loved it; we were not underfoot and she knew we were safe and occupied!

The sweet little poem below sparked my memory of my playhouse, I hope you enjoy it and the cute illustrations by Lois Maloy.




Tell me about your playhouse! ~ Diane



21 comments:

  1. I did have a tree house when I was little. I loved it. Until I fell out of it lol

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  2. What a cute poem and I love your playhouse story! We didn't have a playhouse, but I liked to make a fort under the picnic table outside :)

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  3. I didn't have a playhouse, but I loved my Dad's greenhouse, with the smell of tomatoes growing, and a toad hopping around, at one time he bred budgies in there, all amazing for me, I kept my rabbit in there too :) All happy memories, you have a lovely way with words and tales to tell :)

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    1. Oh goodness, I think I would have loved having a greenhouse even more!

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  4. That sounds like so much fun, you lucky girl! How exciting. No, I didn't have something like that. I lived in an apartment when I was growing up, so there was definitely no room for that kind of fun. What we did instead is build tents over our beds and pretend we had a little playhouse. Kids and their imaginations always find a way!

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  5. Diane,
    How wonderful that you had your own playhouse when you were young. I always wanted one, but we used to built dirt forts in the fields behind our house, so I guess that was my playhouse. Your family farm sounds great. I bet it brings back special memories for you.

    Have a very nice weekend.

    Love,
    ~Sheri

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  6. Diane, I absolutely love this post! Firstly, your choice of music is fantastic. The theme is so much fun. I never had a playhouse but I always dreamed of a treehouse! Living in the city in an apartment and my parents not having had much money, the closest thing to a playhouse I had was a Barbie dollhouse. Thank you so much for stirring up some great childhood memories for me, and for sharing yours.

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  7. This post is such a joy Diane! Thank you so much! :)

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  8. I loved that sweet poem. My playhouse was under a weeping willow. I had some little dishes and pans that I would use to make mud pies. I didn't have any children close by to play with so I had two imaginary friends to share my adventures with. :)

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  9. I wanted a tree house but there were two problems

    1. Parents with no building skills

    2. No tree (that could support such a thing anyway)

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  10. That is a neat memory! I think we had some kind of cardboard play house, but I think I knocked it over.

    Some personalities, we come with at birth ;)

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  11. Hi Diane,
    I so enjoy your memories of that perfect playhouse! My playhouse was a little different being an old Romany caravan. Like you, I lived on a farm, and the caravan was left behind when the gypsies living in it were re-homed. My friends and I loved that caravan, on sunny days we would sit on the four steps leading up to the stable door but on wet days, we would be snug inside. All the fittings other than a small cast-iron stove had been removed so like you, we ‘borrowed’ bits from home and had a high old-time pretending to by gypsies moving around the country. The hitch for the horse was still attached at the front, and many were the times we talked about ‘borrowing’ the farm owner's horses! The last time I visited the farm the caravan had gone, whoever owns it now will find all sorts of ‘secret’ messages hidden in the panelling if/when they restore it! Lovely post and poem, thank you for sharing your memory and reminding me of mine!

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    1. Thank you all for sharing your own stories! I'm glad my memory helped you remember yours!
      So I first have to say to Barbara... Your story has to be the most "fantastical" ever! A gypsy caravan!! Amazing!
      To Keith... Ouch!
      To Adam... so sorry... maybe you can build one as an adult! My brothers had a couple of versions of tree houses, we had no lack of trees or basic carpentry skills.
      To Everyone else, whether your playhouse was a cardboard box, under a tree or tent or picnic table, or in a greenhouse or a field, or even a Barbie playhouse, I'm sure as Martha said "Kids and their imaginations always find a way!" ~~ Diane

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    2. I wish I could find a 'photo of that old gypsy caravan. I must ask my sister if there are any in the albums she had after mum died. It would make such a nice blog post.

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    3. I agree, hope you find the photo!

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  12. My sister and I had a corner of our father's workshop for our playhouse, with a motley assortment of little furniture and castoff junk. It was great because we could draw pictures on the walls and he didn't mind. The next door kids had a stand-alone playhouse made out of an empty chicken coop. No furniture, just the coop. At least someone shoveled all the chicken shit out of it before we used it! Those were the days, LOL.

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  13. Diane, this is so precious! I would have loved to play in your play house ;o) My brothers had a tree house! No girls aloud! LOL! I never had one. I always loved playing in my bedroom or just playing outside!
    Love the poem ;o)

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  14. Hi Diane,

    Such a warm story inspired by the words of that magical poem. Memories that you embrace. I had a tree house, way back when. We tried to open a tree house franchise, with many branches :)

    Be well, my friend.

    Gary

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  15. Dear Diane - what a lovely memory. I didn't have a playhouse but my brother and I used an old picnic table and played beneath it. We sometimes pretended we were in a boat sailing down a river fighting off bad guys. See your trip down memory lane triggered mine. Thanks so much for sharing and I love the little poem. Have a good week.

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  16. I had a playhouse, but not a treehouse. My friends and I once slept in it - but got cold in the night and returned to our beds!

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Thank you for leaving a comment! I do read them all and will try to respond if I'm able. Please know that all comments are appreciated, I love to hear your thoughts on my posts! ~ Diane