Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In my {childhood} dreams...

When I was a little girl, I would play a game that I referred to in my mind as "Runaway Orphan." In the game, my kind, loving parents were dead, and I was kept captive in a cruel and cold orphanage, where I was forced to work or was beaten etc (a la "A Little Princess"). Sometimes alone, but more often with a friend or sister, I would run away from the heartless orphanage keepers and escape to the forest, where we would find an abandoned cottage or hovel and would transform it into a beautiful little home to live in. (Thanks for the tree-house, Dad!) We would dig yucca roots to use as soap and wash our clothes in the stream.  (The "stream" was essentially a rush of muddy water created by turning on the pump in our yard and letting it run for hours - my poor dad was totally unaware of what, or rather who, was draining our well just for the sheer joy of having a "stream" in New Mexico. It's probably a very good thing that we didn't have city water, or the bills would have sky-rocketed during the summer months! Sorry!) 
In my mind, this is exactly how my cottage in the woods felt. I was safe and warm and carefree and beautiful. Somehow, my orphan friend and I would always have glamorous but slightly bedraggled clothes in excess thanks to my dress-up box. Orphans were, in my mind at least, glamorous and charming and pathetic. Playing princess was far too cliche! 
We would disguise ourselves with shawls and sneak into the "town" to buy food. As long as we could raid the kitchen and avoid being caught by my mom, we were safe. With our booty in hand, we would escape back to our woodland home to pick huge bunches of flowers that hung to dry and whither and shed. And often, there would be a war or a freak horseback riding accident, which would throw an injured and gorgeously handsome stranger or two into our paths, to nurse back to health and fall in love with. My personal lover was always named Greg, after the fat but gentlemanly boy I met at church who couldn't read in 5th grade but would make all the other boys let girls go ahead of them in the drinking fountain line. In Greg at least, I knew that chivalry was not dead. He stirred up my Florence Nightingale feelings and I felt a deep desire to love him and rescue him and teach him to read. 
Of course, we never quite knew what to do with our lovers once they were well and strong and loved us back. Somehow, the cottage was just not the same with men folk (even imaginary men folk) around. In order to continue the game, we had to either send the men back to war with a tearful goodbye, or get married. 
And getting married is an entirely different game... 


  1. Haha I remember this game! (although you never told me about Greg...does Phillip know about this???) I'm still a little afraid for dad to find out about the streams...! ;-)

    But your pictures are all know that mom would NEVER let us wear orphan dresses that short!

  2. Picky picky...just pretend they have shorts on underneath! This post is about IMAGINATION!

  3. Haha. Yep good old orphan in the woods games. I still remember your dad getting annoyed when we ran around the woods in those dresses either barefoot or with sandals in the snow. It sure was fun though. :) Good memories. I was just telling my roommate about our first tea party with chocolate milk in my entry way.