A very, very long time ago, in a place far, far away I bought a cabin. It was built of huge logs harvested on the property. The road a faint path grown over with years of neglect. It stood alone quietly facing a small lake in Northern Saskatchewan. The windows obscured with the dust of many years. Velvety moss covered the stone doorstep. Over the door a sign ALWAYS WELCOME STRANGERS THEY MAY BE ANGELS. I bought my cabin never stepping inside.
Later when I picked up the key I learned the history of my cabin. It had been built in the early Twenties. When World War Two was declared in September l939 the son of the owners enlisted. He never came home. His parents never returned to their cabin. Twenty-Two years later I walked into a time capsule. It was as if they had simple closed the door and gone for a stroll. I kept the iron beds. The “crazy ” patchwork quilts. The kettle for heating water. The Union Jack to hang on the flag pole. The tiny child’s wooden boat. I kept the sign over the door.
Thus began my fascination with angels. I was fascinated with the concept of entertaining angels unaware. Their wings. What do angels do with their wings? Tuck them under their coats? Hang them at the door? The Christmas issues of my French magazines always featured angel wings in their decor. Hanging over mirrors. On the backs of chairs. Now I was obsessed with finding angel wings. Not flimsy cartoon versions of wings, but big, white wings with feathers.
It was in July of the past summer when I walked into our Ladner Thrift Shop and discovered my angel wings. They were hanging with children’s costumes. Teary eyed I stroked the feathers. They were perfect . They were my long sought after angel wings.
They hang surrounded by all things French . The setting is perfect. My angel wings catch the early morning sun and in the evening tiny fairy lights light up the night. I remember the sign from long ago. I live in hope remembering the cabin sign. Welcome strangers for some have entertained angels unawares.
The doll house had been lovingly built. It was made of wood. It had doors that would open and shut. Fancy trim on the shingle roof. Even a bow window and a front porch. But it had fallen on hard times. And as it is in the adult world the house was deemed “not good enough”. The house had been replaced by a larger more spectacular mansion. It was made of plastic, but it had a hot tub and a stair case and a chandelier in the front hall. After all even in the doll world one must keep up appearances.
The contents were thought to be shabby. The wall paper dated. The pictures on the wall old-fashioned. No one wanted a hand-made wooden doll house. The house was stored in the darkest, dreariest, farthermost corner of the garage and forgotten. Over the years it gathered neglect and dreary dust.
The forgotten doll house sat quietly in the dark corner and remembered. It thought of the many dolls who it made it their home. They had tea parties and sleep-overs. Entertainment for visiting doll friends. The house filled with giggles and joyful delight. Happy memories of by gone days. Then one day the house was taken from its dark hiding place and put on a display in a shop that welcomed cast off toys. Time passed. No one was interested in the shabby doll house. The lonely house thought of its broken shutter. The peeling wallpaper. The scratches, dents and missing pieces. “No one will want me. No one will buy me. No one will love me.”
There are those who see hidden beauty in imperfection. Who search for the unusual, the unexpected. Who see potential where others pass by. When she saw the doll house she thought “how absolutely wonderful”. It just needed a little loving care; some carpentry work, lots of snow white paint and a exotic group of inhabitants. It would be the perfect Christmas house.
The roof was repaired. The shutters replaced. Every inch of the house was painted the dazzling white of freshly fallen snow. Tiny diamond bright lights adorned the house, inside and out. The windows were cleaned. And the house even had a chandelier.
The invited guests gathered for a Christmas party. The dolls house was filled with excited guests.
The conversation was brilliant.
The Christmas party continued far into the night.
It was adults who lingered long. Peering into the rooms. Recognizing nostalgic and familiar toys from the past. They were swept up in the magic of this little house. The house gave a sigh of contentment for it was not to be forgotten. Not to be boxed and put away for another Christmas. It would have its place in this new home. To be enjoyed everyday by the very young and the young at heart. The doll house would live happily ever after.
Writer’s Notes: I found the sadly neglected doll house in the Thrift Shop in Ladner Village. It is an amazing experience – this shopping at the Delta Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop. Everyone is a volunteer and all moneys raised support the Delta Hospital. I am proud to be a member of this amazing organization.