I held court there, my favorite space, my playhouse glorified the right corner of our backyard. A white wooden structure with green trim and shingled roof, a mock fireplace stacked atop the roof and flower boxes at four windows greeted me every day after school.
Entering the playhouse I carefully stepped on a small brick porch, then opened a fanciful front door. To the right of the door hung a black wrought iron bell suspended from a bracket to ring before you entered. Colorfully painted flower boxes filled with pansies adorned each window. The fireplace stack, painted to look like brick, brightened the roof top. Inside I happily found a child’s table and two chairs painted blue with flowers. In the cooking corner sat a small electric stove that would actually warm our small pan of water for our afternoon tea. We enjoyed drinking tea in my Mickey Mouse tea cups poured from my Mickey Mouse tea pot. While seated drinking our tea, my friend Yvonne and I, both six years old, loved admiring our collection of Shirley Temple magazine photos that we had plastered on all four walls of our lovely hideaway.
For each window my mom had sewn blue print curtains to decorate the room. In the bedroom area, my dad had built a small wooded bed for Shirley Temple and Patsy Dolls. A Hink’s Furniture store box sat at the side of the bed with doll clothes hand-fashioned by my mom made from the same fabric as my clothing. An apple box, painted dark blue held books so we could read stories to our dolls, our make-believe children. Yvonne and I shared many afternoons sprawled on a floor mattress reading to our dolls after enjoying an afternoon of tea and cookies.
by Kay Kirk Owen – Writer & Painter