Portrait of Play, Week 42

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We have a secret garden. We knew our backyard went beyond our fence, but it had mostly been taken over by garbage and kudzu. Over the years, we have gone back there to try to start clearing some spaces up, but we would get overwhelmed with the amount of garbage we kept finding and the kudzu would quickly overtake the space in between our times of focused clearing. We found out we had a collapsed building back there when a litter of 9 stray puppies were born underneath it several years ago. Even the backyard within the fenced perimeter is a neglected mess that has taken a backseat to all the other more immediate needs of the interior spaces of our home, so the back-backyard is more work than we have been able to manage. Still, who wants to finish existing projects, when we can dream about new ones? When James and a few friends started clearing away more and more brush this summer, I could not believe they found stairs and concrete paths. So now we dream of gardens and chickens and drawbridges for crossing the creek. Charlotte said she wanted to build a huge playhouse back there, big enough for James and I to fit in (which was very considerate of her, yet I’m sure her thoughts on that will change by the time a playhouse actually gets built). After Winnie got too many mosquito bites, we went back towards the house. Chuck started helping James scoop up dog poop for a nickel each scoop even though she kept gagging from the smell, and Winnie played in the little playhouse and the sandbox. She could have sat and watched sand sift through her fingers all night, but Atlas was antsy to get back inside. He really only likes to go outside to poop.

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