Grandpa’s Clubhouse

“I’d rather be at my home than be emperor of the world.”

-George Washington-

journal entry:

This is Grandpa’s clubhouse.  To the little granddaughters it is a playhouse.  To the boys a clubhouse.  Grandpa kindly built it with the help of several grandchildren.  He shared his drill and hammer and level and nails and screws and tape measure and chubby pencil.  I think he got most things back. He listened to each child’s suggestions and tried to incorporate them.  At each stage he asked the kids to “try it out” so that he could see what they liked and what he might have missed.  He looked for all of the safety hazards but in the end it is true that little boys might fall when they climb.  Little boys have always climbed and have always fallen.  He added soft mulch around the house to make things a little safer.

The little girls had a completely different view of the emerging dwelling.  Clara noted that it needed a mailbox and a flowerpot on the window sill.  The boys couldn’t see the need for either.  Little Afton loved any part of it on which she could hang by her hands and swing.  Afton also inspired the place in the front where it looks like the board is missing.  She spent so much time going in and out of that opening while it was being built that Grandpa moved a board to make it easier for her and left it open.

When all was said and done, it was perfect.  The window openings let in the air and the light.  The wide door makes it possible for two children or more to squeeze in without crowding each other.  That fact alone makes for more peace for a longer period of time.  The trees provide shade. The tower is fun to climb and safe.  Grandpa added a few boards after he saw that the boys could climb higher than he had planned.  They like to be hidden high in the tree branches.

The little picnic table now sits in the “yard” and the old, wire fencing which is about as tall as a little child is strung haphazardly around the little house at the whim of the children.  The boys don’t care if it is straight but the girls do.

I found a small planter in the “end of summer markdowns” which Grandpa mounted on the front.  Now the girls have their flowers.  And, a red tin serves as a mailbox.  Even the boys like to sweep the house clean, so the garage broom stays !

Everyone helped.  Everyone plays.  Everyone thanked Grandpa for making their clubhouse (or playhouse).  What it is called depends on who you are !

“Where thou art – that is home.”

-Emily Dickinson-

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