Not Just Any Play House

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It is a beautiful day here in Pittsburgh, and we took advantage of sprucing up the yard for summer. That includes patio prep and cleaning the toys.

Yesterday, I asked Greg to clean the kids’ play house, but while he is off getting fill dirt, I decided to clean it instead. Why? Because even though he is good at cleaning things and this was an easy honey-do list item, I really don’t think he would put the care into cleaning it like I would. That sounds really mean…but let me explain, okay?

This isn’t just any play house. This is my play house. Greg would clean it the same way I did, heck, maybe even a little cleaner, but he would not put the heart into it that I did. And maybe, just maybe, I really needed the cleansing practice of cleaning this house.

As I cleaned the play house, I thought about what it meant to me. The memories began to flow:
* Pretending the play house was a drive through–and realizing Arianna does this, too.
* Eating my first ever onion rings inside it on the porch of our house at Wall–one of my earliest memories of time with my cousin Richie! (Burger King, too.)
* Watching my brother through the windows when we lived in Brookville.
* Serving as a clubhouse for Elizabeth and I in Wren…and writing names of our crushes using squiggle pens and dot matrix printer paper.
* Watching the house get packed up on moving truck after moving truck from Wren, to Brookville, to Townville, to Ford City. My parents had plenty of yard sales, but they never sold this childhood treasure, keeping it in pristine condition.
* Watching a 9-month-old Arianna poke her head out of it to watch her cousins playing in my parents’ yard.
* My dad bringing it to our first house so Arianna (and now Evan) can enjoy it just as much.

That house is almost 30 years old, but I cannot tell. The only thing “dating” it is the corded phone, which the kids sort of understand. I will be sure we keep it clean and ready for the next adventures. Maybe we will even be able to use it for another generation of Peterson or Willis kids, who knows!

That house sure isn’t just another play house handed down on Craigslist. It has a heart and soul, and deserved the bath it got today.

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