Okay, all of you grown up "little girls" out there, do you remember your pretend house...you know, the one from your childhood? I bet you have a very vivid recollection of it if you let your mind wander back! Actually, I had several, depending on where I was playing, but my very favorite (and most elaborate) one was at my Grandmother and Grandaddy's house at East Lake. They lived right on the lake and ran a bait shop from their home. The house was a modest one, but they had a huge porch (or so it looms in my memory anyway) and THAT PORCH was my pretend house!
It really was the perfect house....actually I felt like it was a mansion! It had built in flower boxes with pretty flowers (caladiums, petunias, and ferns) all around, so it was also very decorative (I guess I liked decorating even then).
In this picture of Mama and me, you can see a little of the porch and just one of the many flower boxes in the background.
My house also had beautiful vintage furniture, complete with gliders and swings! I had three different doors in which you could enter my house! Well...really they were just steps in three different places leading up to the porch. The "front door" was accessible by going down a flight of stairs that (in reality) led down the embankment to the dock and lake.
These pictures show the view from my "front door" looking down toward the embankment at the lake and dock. (That's my grandaddy standing there and I can't make out exactly who is in the boat for sure).
I had a really fancy doorbell too (you know the kind that played an entire tune when my pretend guests came to call), and I would "glide" down the stairs to answer my door (you know like Scarlett O'Hara coming down her staircase), and beckon my guests to "please do come in". Then of course, my guests would come upstairs to the "next level" of my mansion and we would sit down in the beautiful parlor and chat and have tea, among the beautiful flowers.
That's my grandmother sitting there (in one of the spots that one of my guests might have sat).
I had quite an imagination, come to think of it! But then again, I guess, it was out of necessity. When we spent weekends there (which was fairly often), it was how I passed the time since there were rarely other children around for playmates. It was mostly retirees that lived on the lake. But I did love to see all the different people that would drive up and honk (that was the signal for Grandaddy to come out) and buy bait. I tagged along and listened (and probably talked more than I should too). I enjoyed being around all those people.
There was my brother, who is four years younger than me. Although he was a pretty good sport and played with me quite a bit, this pretend house pretty much existed in my imagination. It was exclusively mine! I don't think he was that interested in my house. However, my brother and I did combine our imaginations to create some fun play times. One of my favorites was playing "gas station". I would "drive" my grandparents' old green Ford Galaxy 500 (translation: sit in the car at the wheel), and pull up to the "station" where Richie was the service station attendant. Yes, I am old enough to remember when you could pull up to the full service pump and ask the attendant to "fill her up". And so Richie would oblige and also clean my windshield, and check by tires and oil too. Now, the entire time, he was doing this, I'd be sitting in that driver's seat like some glamour queen, very sophisticated-like, puffing on my "cigarette" (Gasp!). I know...I know...that's bad........but I did. Really they were crayons (they made perfect cigarettes) that fit neatly in my little compact holder (just like my Aunt Jo carried). I thought she looked SO glamorous when she smoked. Funny how kids see things, isnt' it? (And by the way, I never grew up to REALLY smoke). Anyway, then I'd pay the attendant and "drive away". Then I guess, we'd just play the whole scenario all over, but maybe with little varying twists. Hmmm...Richie never asked to "drive". I wonder why! It's kind of ironic though, his very first job when he turned sixteen was at a service station as none other than an attendant, and he was really good at it! (Guess you can thank me a little bit for that Richie)....right?
I also played "army" and "fort" with Richie and one of the grandsons of the folks down the street, when he came to visit his grandparents, and Richie played barbies with me (shh....don't tell...at least he WAS Ken)!
I sometimes wonder how many kids are missing out these days (because of video games and computers and such), on the fun of letting their imaginations take them on amusing childhood adventures that they will one day treasure! I'm thankful for my very own childhood ventures and my (pretend) house that I can go back and revisit (in my mind) whenever I wish..........How about you?