"Snippet" -- a small piece or brief extract
The Little House That Could
This photo was taken when our house was still in the city limits, being used as a real estate office... major highway out front, gas stations, drug stores, fast food and a Chinese restaurant surrounded her here. In fact, a Wendy’s fast food restaurant now occupies this lot.
Last week I shared a bit about our old house. When I set out to write last week's blog, I had originally intended to write about our experience relative to one of my favorite picture books, THE LITTLE HOUSE by Virginia Lee Burton. It wasn't always a favorite book. I only encountered this one as an adult. It has always been one of my husband's favorites, though. Now it is very special to both of us because of our experience with our own "little house".
Like both of the houses in question, the book is a classic and nothing new. . . The copyright is 1942. If you'd like the read the biography of author, Virginia Lee Burton, here is a link to an excellent brief bio from an educational publisher. She was an amazing woman who was good at so many things. http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/features/mike_mulligan/biohome.shtml
The book begins, "Once upon a time there was a Little House way out in the country. She was a pretty Little House and she was strong and well built." The same is true for our little house. When she was originally built in 1882, my hometown was still developing. We had a courthouse near our little house, so she would have been part of a small town of the times. She was a Victorian farmhouse, built for a family.
In the book, the city begins increasing and encroaching on the little house, and the same happened to our little house as the population and the town grew up around her. Pretty soon, she is surrounded by buildings that blot out the sun, and she missed her country life of bygone days. Our own little house was surrounded by traffic and buildings as well as she sat in one of the main thoroughfares of our still-small-but-not-as-small-as-she-used-to-be town .. . .
Then the book reaches a major turning point, "Then one fine morning in Spring along came the great-great-granddaughter of the man who built the Little House so well. She saw the shabby Little House, but she didn't hurry by. There was something about the Little House that made her stop and look again." When we found OUR little house, she was serving as a real estate office, and in fact, had so served throughout my years in high school. Although I had been inside maybe once or twice, I think, that day after it was placed "for sale to be moved", just like the great-great-granddaughter, I saw something in the house that was special.
Then, in The Little House, the granddaughter and her husband inquire of the Movers if she could be moved. They said, "Sure, this house is as good as ever. She's built so well we could move her anywhere." And the same was true for our little house as well. So both houses were jacked up and put on wheels. In the book, the Little House moves hours away. In our case, it was only about 8 miles, but it was still quite the adventure!
The book ends with her re-establishing herself in the country, getting a facelift and enjoying her new quiet, peaceful life in the country. She is painted a "lovely shade of pink." We chose lavender instead :-) And while it's been long in coming, and there is still much work to do for our little house to be everything she can be, I hope, like the Little House, she is smiling happily, watching the seasons come and go, being lived in and taken care of.
If you don't know this book, you are missing out on a classic. Yet, no matter how old the book or the house are, they still have an intrinsic value that in unparalleled and I am thankful to have the book -- and the house -- as a part of my life.
You can listen to a read aloud of the book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D-UnakYw7A
OR, you can
Purchase the book from your favorite independent bookstore, or here: https://www.amazon.com/Little-House-75th-Anniversary/dp/132874194X/ref=asc_df_132874194X/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312680791333&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12870730653959576604&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010090&hvtargid=pla-527476992433&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=62255331975&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=312680791333&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12870730653959576604&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010090&hvtargid=pla-527476992433
This was when they situated our house onto the lot on the farm. By this point, the roof had been restored, foundation was complete and we had pressure washed/scraped and were just getting ready to start painting. You can see a bit of the lavender on the upstairs dormer.
I've been a teacher of K-3 students for over 20 years; I'm also a writer of poems, short stories, devotionals and picture books. I'm wife to an amazing husband and mom to Sparkles, Mocha, and Rusty -- our feline fur babies . I love reading, writing, singing and listening to music. I enjoy nature, Bible study and spending time with friends and family!
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