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STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS: CLUBS & FORTS & RECEPTACLES
I have work to do and yet I am not doing it. Not yet. Soon. I thought I needed to write something here instead. Something not very profound, something just tossed out there to the wind and the weather and the mental receptacles of anyone who might be reading. It's not work for work, though; club stuff.

Club stuff. It feels corny to say I belong to a club. A women's club. Even though it's not all women anymore. And even though I never go to lunches (anymore) or teas or knitting circles or whatever. Still. I wish we had a clubhouse. That would be cool. When I was in 6th grade and we lived in Montgomery, Alabama for a year, my sister and I were the exclusive members of the Red Bird Club. I can't remember exactly where I got the idea from, but suspect it might have been Highlights Magazine or possibly Ranger Rick. Though I don't think we were getting Ranger Rick that far back. Anyway, the Red Bird Club was cool. We had a clubhouse. It was our under-eaves closet, which we enlarged by shoving all our clothes and things to the sides (which must have thrilled my mom) and spending hours drawing and painting pictures of...red birds. Cardinals, mostly, I guess, since that is the only red bird that springs to mind at the moment. And taping them all over the alls of our clubhouse. Yeah, don't ask me. But it was cool.

When I think of the things my mom let us do in our own space, it cracks me up. I don't remember her ever coming in, standing in the doorway of our closet and grimly pointing a finger at the mess with a menacing growl of "Clean this up NOW!" ...though she certainly might have. When we lived in Nebraska, before Alabama, where my sister and I also shared a room, we used to build extremely elaborate doll's environments (they weren't exactly houses) all over our desktops which usually spread and morphed to include every available bookshelf surface and even parts of the floor at times. We didn't actually PLAY much with the dolls, at least I don't remember us doing so. We had a bunch of Dawn Dolls and Barbies, but it was much more exciting to plan and build and decorate their spaces. We were pre-adolescent miniature interior decorators at heart!

I'm pretty sure those elaborate constructions stayed in place for weeks at a time. I don't know that I would manage that kind of tolerance now, as a parent. I'm all about the keeping things we're not playing with put away and picking up at the end of each day; though I do tend to let that slide when Martin is in the middle of a serious Lego jag.

We used to build forts all the time, too. Sofa cushions, blankets and pillows. Best of all, large cardboard boxes that we could cut windows and doors into with the serrated steak knives that I inherited from my parents and which I mostly use these days for carving pumpkins once a year. We had a fort sitting in the hallway after Christmas last for quite some time because Anders had constructed a cardboard box cover for the treadmill that was my Christmas present. I had the BIGGEST PRESENT UNDER THE TREE! Karin appropriated the box immediately and carved a door flap and windows and Anders helped her rig a string-opener that she could pull tight when she was inside the box. But after a couple of weeks I got sick of it being in the way in the foyer and unceremoniously hauled it out to the garage.

What would have been really, really cool was to have a tree house. I wish I'd had a tree house. When we built and moved into this house 7 years ago, I lamented the fact that the kids would never have a tree house here, since there weren't any trees on any of the lots. Even if we planted some, they wouldn't be big enough or old enough to put a tree house in. Anders built a darling playhouse in the backyard the summer after we moved in, when the kids were still small, but we quickly discovered that the kids never played in it, after the initial excitement wore off. Nowadays, it's a receptacle for pool paraphernalia and Karin's collections of soccer balls, and a home for spiders.

Now, to work.
 calm
mood: calm
music: Norah Jones—Chasing Pirates


Comments

My older siblings built a tree house in a tree at the place we used to go to for the month of July. I think having it only available to us during that one month just made it all the more magical.

It's always the things that we only have for short periods that take on such significance, isn't it? :)

That's an awesome playhouse!

We have this really big tree in the garden that has the room to have a small treehouse build in it. Shame the house itself will simply be too small to house a family.. heh

It only needs to be big enough for YOU! :)

I wasn't worried about the size of the treehouse but of our normal house :) Tis big enough for just me and S. (and the cats and all my books and and and lol) but by the time we expand our family with children we really do need to look out for a bigger house. I would love to stay here; the neighborhood is perfect, we have a spacious garden for in Amsterdam.. unfortunately the local government isn't giving us permission to build out the house :(

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

I look forward to reading about them!!

i had a club in the dark and dirty basement of the apartment building i was living in as a child. we had a storage that we kept all the paraphernalia in and a ratty old couch to sit in. we used to break into (i had a knack of opening code locks) the storage areas of the people who lived in the building and steal beer. yeah, i was a hardened asphalt flower in my youth! :)

i wonder if the inventor of cardboard boxes knew what a great toy for both animals and humans he was creating?

hahaha! Your criminal childhood! :D

You made me realize I don't know who invented cardboard. I'm off to google it!

ooh, that treehouse is so pretty! I also wish I had a little house when I grew up. In Sweden it's, as you know, only called "lekstuga" and doesn't strictly have to be in a tree...

It isn't a treehouse, it's a ground house. Anders built it specifically to match Pettson's house :)

My partner before last one was quite the treehouse builder. He was very conscious of the tree and used old inner tubes as much as possible to avoid nails into the tree. He got expert at it over the years before I knew him, and by the time we lived together he would only live at homes that had potential treehouse trees in backyards.
So. In our backyard he built a three story tree house. It wasn't elaborate. No rooms or walls, but there were some pretty knifty features. And we put a bed out there during the summer months. It was a great place to sleep during the dog days of summer when it is way too hot indoors.

Here in Oregon, down south, there is a Tree House Bed and Breakfast.

What a cool place to stay! But the puns on that site made me have to LEAF immediately.

(Anonymous)

I so do not remember the Red Bird club or the Dawn dolls! But I do remember the forts and the mess we used to have FOREVER in our rooms. I know I would not have the patience for that! Although my son has built a fort right inside his door about 2 weeks ago and I have him keep it to show Grandma Linda.

Seester

How funny that you don't remember the Dawn dolls! I loved those things. Way better than Barbies! (especially Crippled Rabbit-chewed Barbie. Heh.

That's a gorgeous playhouse! I think if I were you, I would have to repurpose it as a writing hut or something. Maybe a hiding spot until Sophie finishes teething the Two Year Old Molars of Agony and Unbearable Fussiness.

I'd have to brave the spiders first, and some of those suckers are BIG! :) I can actually stand up in it, but it's a really tiny doorway. Maybe you should just send Sophie and we'll bunk her down there until the Molars are in? :D

Mind if I overnight her? :)

Just remember to punch some airholes in the box! :D

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