Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Philosophically, I'm more of a Home Sweet Home person than a God Bless Our Happy Home person but if an anthropomorphized house is involved I'll overlook the Christian overtones. I scored this plate at the estate sale of someone who had a passion for anthropomorphized fruit. One wall of her kitchen was covered with grinning plaster fruit faces. I just got the plate, though more than a year later, I'm still wondering why I didn't get the fruit too.
I'm not sure when I developed my penchant for smiling houses—maybe it was the first time I read Virginia Lee Burton's classic children's book The Little House. Love that cute little house! And check this out—I just ran across this 1952 Disney short based on The Little House and it is fabulous. The story was adapted by Bill Peet, and the hand of the great Mary Blair is quite apparent. If anyone happens to be selling the animation cels, I'm interested.
So, foolish though it may be, I choose to view my house as a benign force in the universe—a refuge/haven/sanctuary/velvet prison/vehicle for self-expression. I lean homebody. Even when my house seems to be ganging up on me, daring me to hate it, with its leaky leaks, rotting gutters, nests of scorpions, peeling paint and total lack of energy-efficiency, I forgive. If I could somehow pull a Plumbean and incorporate a pair of giant eyes and a wide smile into my house's facade, I would.
By pulling a Plumbean, I mean trick out my house in the style of Mr. Plumbean, the protagonist in Daniel Pinkwater's The Big Orange Splot, another brilliant children's book about houses. His could-not-have-said-it-better-myself mantra: "My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams." Plumbean could totally have his own show on HGTV.
My daughter also has Plumbean tendencies. Her third-grade class is making something called "dream boards" this week—I'm not exactly sure what the takeaway is supposed to be; I guess if nothing else, she'll be better prepared to open her own pinterest account. One of the brainstorming questions she had to answer was "What is your dream home?" Now I think mansions and castles and magic kingdoms would spring to most third graders' minds, but she said, "I would like to inherit both of my mother's houses." Referring to the one in which we currently reside, and the one in which I grew up. I think her grandparents might take issue with her description of the latter as MY house, but I think we get what she means...and where she's headed.