Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Chicken Coop
I have so many wonderful childhood memories of the backyard of the old gray house where I grew up. In the spring there were fragrant lilac bushes with varying shades of purple blossoms. I couldn't wait for the pussywillow bush to start to flower. My Mother had rooted a branch given to her by a friend and over the years it grew to a large bush covered in fuzzy gray blooms every spring. Red and white striped tulips planted by Mrs. Wickes, the elderly lady who owned the house before my parents did, were something I looked forward to seeing as the weather became warmer.
But the best thing in that backyard was "The Chicken Coop" and springtime meant that it would be warm enough to use it again as playhouse. There were actually two wooden buildings that had been the home to chickens before my family moved into the house. My Father used the one with the dirt floor as tool shed. The second building, attached to the other by a small breezeway, was two steps up off the ground with a wood floor and that was where we played all summer long. There was a large multi-paned window which would slide to the side to open and my friend Bonnie and I hung white cotton curtains which would blow with the breezes. Donna, my aunt, who is just several years older than I am, spent summers with us and many stories were told and secrets shared in that one room building. I remember one morning, opening the door and finding a wonderful china teapot, cups and saucers with roses on them. I ran to tell my Mother and she said maybe a fairy had left it for me. It was many years later that she told me she put the set in the chicken coop as a surprise. As the years went by, my brother John and his friends used it as fort, my little sister Jan made it a playhouse again. For a while it was home to my sister's pet rabbit. Years later, my Dad took the two buildings down but when I smell lilacs and locust trees in the spring, I can close my eyes and remember a little girl, playing in the Chicken Coop.
I decided to make a simple worn look Chicken Coop sign for myself and I have others to give to family members and friends who have the same wonderful memories that I have.