Thursday, March 3, 2011
Memories of Mintwood
I remember this mushroom-shaped sign so distinctly.
As a child, I was always a fort builder. When I was 12, my sister Kris and I built our most beloved fort, Mintwood Estate, a crooked little house and elaborate garden, under a camphor tree in our backyard. We didn't know the name camphor then, so we made up our own name for the medicine-y-smelling tree. We called it a mintwood tree, and the tree lent its name to our fort and gardens.
At Mintwood we played with our family of dolls and teddy bears. We had different-sized stumps that served as tables and chairs, and oyster shells lined the edges of our little garden beds, which were stuffed to the gills with impatiens and coleus. (We'd pinch cuttings off Mom's plants.)
Here is a 32-year-old journal entry about a day spent playing at Mintwood Estate. The day seems so idyllic to me now, and I guess it did even then because I remember I would pray, "Oh, please, God, don't let me grow up and stop caring about Mintwood."
Sunday, September 30, 1979
Today we went down in the woods full of fall colors. We climbed many pine trees to gather fresh pine needles. I put Bunny into a little pine tree and she got us a whole bunch. We gathered a whole basket full. We stuffed Beth and Carrie's mattress with the pine we gathered. The sun glittered brightly on our impatiens, and the whole estate looked wonderful.
We dressed Beth and Carrie and styled their hair in our little living room. We then fixed a delicious breakfast of mushroom spread on toast, and breakfast salad, and we ate at the pine stump picnic table.
Then we made a new room, an entrance hall with blue curtains leading to the tea room. We had a bookshelf and rug and table. We made tea and talked. We roofed our house with cedar branches. We made it so thick that it's dark, I mean totally dark, in the living room. We weeded our little circle garden and cleared the leaves out.
Today was the best day!
**Note: Bunny is my baby sister. Beth and Carrie are dolls. I don't know what breakfast salad is.
Here you can see the house has been redesigned. It was always falling down, so we'd have to rebuild.
Fenna was one of the main characters inhabiting Mintwood Estate. Oh, how we loved her.
Kris made all Fenna's clothes, including her little cardboard-soled shoes. The hat was fashioned from a Cool Whip lid.