Tag Archives: kids next door

The Wendy House…


“Let’s be quiet as a mouse, and build a lovely little house,  for Wendy…” goes the song from the musical, Peter Pan.  I watched the show when I was a little girl, starring Mary Martin, on black and white TV in the 50’s.  I memorized most of the songs.

The Australians call my tiny, tiny house out back, The Wendy House.  I call it lots of other names, but when I am talking to them, I always refer to it as The Wendy House.  I knew right away where they got this nickname.  When I call it The Wendy House to other people, they don’t get it.

So, I call it the tiny, tiny; the shop; the studio, though to me that sounds pretentious.  I also call it “downstairs,” or “out back.”  I tried She Shed, but..no.   I tried to call it The Hive, and I even have a sign that says The Hive, but that name hasn’t stuck, either.  Among my first blogs, I asked my readers to help me name The Wendy House, and I got some good suggestions, but still, seven years later, I’m fumbling.


Last spring, for my 70th birthday, I finally had the Wendy House finished off inside.  I had the floor painted the rust color of my Carolina soil, a window moved, a door removed, and French doors added.  I had the electricity upgraded, canned lighting put in, the walls painted white, and a motel-type heating/cooling unit installed.  Then I furnished it with salvaged wicker, scavenged from Bulky Pick-up week, some given-to-me shelves, a 1950’s (my era, I guess) red formica-topped kitchen table, by way of my-friend-Ginger-from-Lake-Waccamaw, and my sewing machine.


It’s a perfect workspace.  It’s a good relaxing place.  I throw open the French doors, and sit looking out at my “land,” and I read, or think.  Sometimes I listen to Audible books as I sew or paint furniture, or craft.  I can see the magnolia tree, the bird feeders, the kids next door playing ball.  In some ways, with the doors open, it’s like sitting on a porch, especially when it’s raining.  My entire home is a retreat, but The Wendy House is my retreat-within-a-retreat.

Finishing off the Wendy House was last year’s birthday present to myself.  And I’m thinking this year’s birthday present to myself is it’s name…The Wendy House.



It’s back to school time.  And though it’s just first weeks, I found myself subbing and surrounded by young people.  That led me to thinking…

It is amazing how the human body is designed.  This first came to my awareness when I broke my dominant right wrist back in 2011, in the depths of my brokenness.  Yes, pun intended.  Wouldn’t you know that I had to actually, really break something, to get my attention.

Anyway…I had an elbow cast which locked my arm at a right angle.  I couldn’t do much of anything with my right hand…couldn’t brush my teeth, fasten my bra, and even more personal self-care tasks.

All that made me think at the time of the miracle of engineering, by which we were put together.  It’s a God thing.  And it all came to mind when I thought about knees, this past week, as I watched kids rapidly run up and down three flights of stairs.

I was subbing for the Middle School, and I had stair duty.  The upper school really is upstairs.  At dismissal, the kids leave by the stairwell, and my spot was the mid-tier.  Hoo-boy.  You should see the way those kids go downstairs!  Those feet and knees move at super speed!  I used to go downstairs that way.  I remember.

Nowadays, I often go down the steps one at a time with the same foot.  Mostly, it’s slow, sometimes I go right left, but I always hold a rail.  I have a fear of pitching forward.  It’s all in the knees.  And the quads.  I’m fairly light.  I’m fairly agile.  But…hello, 70.  Body parts just wear out.  Knees and legs don’t lift the body, or let the body down, as it were, like they used to.  Falling is a reality.

It’s good to notice what used to be, and appreciate a good working body that is now.  The kids next door and my nieces and nephews remind me of agility and the spontaneity of life.  As for me,  I just want to be able to move, yes literally move through the rest of  my life.  Oh, welcome back to school!



Flip flops in my yard, bicycles in my driveway…


IMG_0295 (1)

No, I do not have children or grandchildren nearby.  My nieces and nephews one block over are too busy with sports, music lessons, and homework at this time of year to do a drop-by.  These items come from the kids next door.  I love those kids.

As I have written before, they have the largest yard in the neighborhood.  Theirs is the equivalent of two, maybe even three lots.  Yet, most days after school, they are playing in my yard, front and back.  They are climbing my dogwood tree.  And now, they are leaving their bikes parked in my driveway.  They spread out, those ones do.

When I was clearing out a flower bed yesterday, I found a golf ball, tennis ball, and an arrow.  Oh my, what that arrow must have missed to land where it did.  I am leaving it.  In back, there is a football by the side of the house.


I took the flip-flops over to their yard, moved the bikes so I could back my car out, and I thought how wonderful it is to have all this LIFE surging around me.