Thursday, February 3, 2011

A doll's house

Most people complain about the amount of darkness we have to endure in the winter. It is a burden. But, there are some benefits that I bet you hadn't thought about.

By the time I leave work, it is completely dark. I purposely take the city streets (remember I try to avoid the 33 - that is Bill's domain). I have devised a lovely route that takes me past Delaware Park and down some of the more tony streets of North Buffalo. The houses along Nottingham and Depew are some of the loveliest in the area. And the residents, very kindly, leave A LOT of their interior lights on. First, second and third floor! Because I am an impatient (read "fast") driver, I do not see details - but rather form impressions of the interiors. And the impressions they leave are of warmth and order and family and togetherness. I'm not so naive as to believe that this is what is ACTUALLY going on. I realize that HOLY HELL could be breaking loose in these abodes. But, at 40 mph, the illusion is wonderful.

As I drove home tonight,  I also recalled a doll house I had as a wee girl. I wasn't more than 7 because I distinctly remember NOT playing with dolls after that age.  My mum had given me an old doll house. It wasn't one of those plastic "Barbie" houses that kids get nowadays. It was a one-of-a-kind handmade house. My friends were envious. I remember whiling away the hours assembling 'scenes' in each of the rooms and trying to replicate our own lovely home. My parents were very good at creating a sanctuary for us.

One of the most harrowing experience of my childhood life was seeing that same doll house at a sidewalk sale in my home town. My mum (the one who tells me to pitch things on a regular basis) had whistled it out of the house once she realized I no longer played with it. I hadn't noticed. But, when I saw the "FOR SALE" sign on MY HOUSE I just about died!! But, that is another story.

Bill and I walk in our neighbourhood when we can, but mostly in the spring, summer and fall. I love to walk at night with him at dusk. It's hard to see into people's houses at that time, and that's probably a good thing, since I'm walking and not driving, and could therefore see details.

When we turn the bend to our house, I look from the sidewalk and into our own front windows. And even though I cannot see the details, I know that inside there is warmth and order and family and togetherness - a sanctuary. I wish that everyone could have the same.

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