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Second-Generation Playhouse

One of my favourite places to play as a child was our playhouse. My siblings and I spent countless hours in this special place.

Constructed by my uncle, it was built using an old hay-rack. It had glass windows that opened and was tall enough for an adult to easily stand up in. My grandfather built us a wooden fridge, stove, sink and child-size picnic table and relatives donated household items such as old curtains and dishes. In one corner we had a curtained “change room” and a collection of dress-up clothes. Outside we had a picnic spot, consisting of log chairs made by our dad out of tree stumps.

When friends visited, the first place we would head was the playhouse. We were the “parents” and dolls were the “babies.” We would “cook” meals using our mismatched dishes with many of the ingredients being mud and leaves. Occasionally we would brave a sleepover night in our playhouse, only to be driven out by mosquitoes.

When my children were old enough to appreciate their own playhouse, I couldn’t think of a better one for them. Unused for many years at my childhood home, we decided to move it to our place. It was carefully loaded onto the flatdeck truck and survived the journey.

As each of my children became old enough to play in the little house, they too experienced the joy it brought. Once again it was alive with childhood play.

The playhouse made one final move with us to our permanent farm home. It now sits near the house with a large sandbox beside it. We have given it a new paint job, complete with year-round blooming flowers. When friends visit, it is once again a favourite place to play. Sometimes we don’t realize how special something is until we revisit our memories. Now the old playhouse is being enjoyed by a new generation, and hopefully this will continue for generations to come.

– Tanya Unrau writes from Boissevain, Manitoba.

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