If you ran over to the woods across from Maggie’s house and brushed away the leaves from the previous year, you would find the playhouse of all Maggie’s grandchildren. Their pots and pans and bowls would appear unearthed just as they left them the year before.

I had a playhouse in the woods growing up. But, like my aunts’ it had no walls. Mine consisted of four trees that each formed a corner of my playhouse. The green, velvety moss on the ground was my carpet, and I “borrowed” all sorts of things from my mother’s kitchen and my father’s workshop to turn my playhouse into a home where I could pretend to live.

I would cook and clean, gather wood and water, and anything else that I needed to live. Sometimes my brothers would join me in my pretend world. Happy memories were spent among those pine needles and moss, just as I’m sure the leaves might still reveal the happy memories of the children that played before me at Maggie’s House.

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