Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pioneering: Part 1

We spent the past weekend with my sister and her two daughters. This week I'll be posting about all our adventures over the weekend. Yes, there were that many!

Sarah is 11 and is the dreamer, reader, emotion-holder of the family. She feels all things in large ways, and has a vivid imagination. Lately, she's been working on creating a "pioneer house" at the edge of the woods that surround their property. We had such fun playing house in it, and I remembered my own childhood; we had a "back shed" that we'd occasionally clean up in a flurry of activity. Our mom made white eyelet curtains for the little windows that we'd lovingly polished, and we'd put jam jars of wildflowers on the sills. Lana would be the teacher or the mother, and Julie and I were the students or daughters. Has every little girl throughout history dreamed of having their own space to tidy, decorate, manage, love? I was struck by the similarities in our games, although played 25 years apart, and thought of little girls 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, collecting flowers for their play-homes.

A woodsy centrepiece to make the table look pretty.

Sarah's pantry, complete with dried meat (bark) and bread and cakes formed from sand.

Stirring the "stew"; Jude was the "Big Kid Hunter" and returned regularly with ingredients for it (bear, cauliflower, a squirrel, and some beans).

The view from the "back deck" (we'd made some dreamcatchers to pretty up the front door).

We made this woodland doll from materials found around us, plus some yarn I brought out with us.

When the mosquitoes finally chased us back inside, Sarah lovingly rake-swept the forest floor, and laid a board across the doorway of her house, keeping it safe from intruders until her return.

I was reminded of this little outdoor adventure when I returned home. I just might approach this week's housekeeping chores with little more love and enthusiasm, when I think about how this home is mine to make beautiful.

Which chore do you approach with them most love and joy?


  1. Washing my floors on my hands and knees :-)

  2. Such a beautiful post, capturing the spirit of woodland play. It brings back so many memories, of my own childhood and more sweetly, of the games my children have played over the years and continue to play. And what evocative photos!

    My chore of choice, unrelated to the kids, is tending to the houseplants. Related to the kids, the chore is shared clean-up...such fun interacting and sharing in the accomplishment together!

  3. I have always loved washing dishes with a clean dishcloth and hot sudsy of my earliest memories is scraping the potato pot with my nails I was probably four or five.About 55 years ago my sister and I had a place in the woods called I.V.short for ivy.We'd spend all day there with our lunch and household "items".Mom always knew where we were.we'd sweep that floor every day.Yes we all should approach our chores with such
    love.thanks for the memories

  4. What an amazing weekend you all must have had.
    My chore of choice is weeding the garden. It is so peaceful with Hazel by my side pulling out the unruly trees that want so much to take over my teeny tiny yard.

  5. What beautiful, magical photos!

  6. that is so sweet! i need to think more about 'playing house' rather than 'keeping house'! and definitely more bark in my pantry. ; )

  7. Wow. Wonderful. I remember 'playing house' in the basement of my house (in a suburban city area) quite vividly. I would have preferred woodland play, which I am sure is why I live where I do now! ;o) K


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