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I forget how the dollhouse got to Maryland from Wisconsin when we divorced. I think maybe my ex put it in the truck when he moved the kids in for their placement with me. Or maybe he added it to the several exceedingly heavy boxes he air-shipped. I know that somehow it got there, but I had my hands full having a new life with a job and single parenting. Losing the job made things harder, not easier; so did losing one of the kids. I fell apart. Got really sick. Looking back, my being held together with duct tape was a bad idea–maybe a hospital would have been a Good Thing. Maybe they would have given me an accurate diagnosis. Or maybe I would have just lost the kid I had left. I just kept on applying layers of duct tape and soldiered on.

Speaking of tape, somewhere around there, the dollhouse was taped shut to move it. (Unlike the tin ones we looked at yesterday, mine opens in the front, with its facade on hinges.) On some moves I would remove the tape and wince at the “scars” the glops of adhesive left and vow to fix it. Someday. Once in a while, I would find some miniature furniture at a craft store and sort of toss it in. I had an assortment of small dolls in there; at one point they included She-Ra, Princess of Power, who was being clearanced out at Toys “R” Us. I also had (still do have) Mammy, from Gone With the Wind. She’s a classy little doll, made in Germany with bendable limbs (they sit at the diningtable in Deutschland), complete with rustly red petticoat from Massa Rhett. It was a motley crew, and seeing as my furniture didn’t match either, what the hell?

We had two episodes of being homeless, where we had to put our stuff in storage. And even though the damn thing was falling apart and taking up space (it’s roughly a meter square and half a meter deep) I . . .  just . . . couldn’t . . . let go of it. It got jammed into corners, and I kept waiting for something to bash in its walls. But it held up. Mostly.

sad dollhouse

This is how it looked as of two weeks ago. Half the roof is missing. You can see the tape on the addition.

Things got a lot better for me, but not for the dollhouse. Lack of time, lack of space, lack of . . . moxie, I guess. But it still mattered. I’m not a giver-upper, as a rule.

Last apartment, when my son (now an adult) moved in with us (yay!) was only a two-bedroom (boo!) and although I thought we would move in July, it took til December. It was . . . stressful. I remember breaking down into tears at one point, and what was I sobbing? That I didn’t have space for my sheeping dollhouse. Mind you, even before he moved in it was in the combination storage/ferret room, where the only pleasure it was giving was to the ferrets themselves, who when let out to play could get through the gaping door. I felt like getting that novelty scotch tape that has “crime scene” printed on it. At least the ferrets weren’t doing crack in there, to the best of my knowledge.

So now this hunk of junk is in my room, and . . . for some reason, mainly because it’s close enough to the computer to touch and my debit card was on my desk at the time, I thought, “Hmm,” and checked to see if they had dollhouse shingles on Amazon. They did, with free shipping no less. So . . . what the hey. They were cheap, which was good, because I knew that with this horrible piece of wood’s history, they’d just lay around inducing mild guilt until the end of time.

But then the next day I found myself buying a sheet of foamcore and a sharp knife. Gotta put the shingles on something, right?

The house is designed to have one (missing) side of the roof hinge up so you can use the attic for storage. Or something.

The house is designed to have one (missing) side of the roof hinge up so you can use the attic for storage. Of your refrigerator.

Tools of construction. What bodes this?

Tools of construction. What bodes this?

I now have a history of finishing complex projects, so I’m just sort of sitting back and watching myself now. Pretty scary.