The yellow school bus slowly came to its last stop. Henry, the bus driver, waved and declared, "Have fun during your break!" Happily, Susan and Sharon, identical twins, hopped, skipped and jumped off the bus. The girls could hardly contain their joy and happiness. The school was out for the Summer!
Now, the girls had a long walk home. Normally, it would take them over thirty minutes to make it to their house. However, this wasn't a normal day. The girls slowly walked and excitedly talked about what they would do in the Summer.
Susan, the oldest by 5 minutes, had plans and started sharing them with her sister. "We can make a playhouse!" exclaimed Susan. "Oh!" Sharon replied. "But how?" questioned Sharon. "We could make it on the front porch," announced Susan. "Do you really think mom will allow that to happen?" Sharon asked. Susan, always being the practical one, agreed with her sister this time which wasn't always the case.
Immediately, Susan had an idea and thought out loud. She declared, "The building on the other side of the garden was empty and we can make a playhouse there." "Well, that does sound like the perfect place to make our playhouse" replied Sharon. The girls continued down the lane and came to a sudden stop when they observed a snake swallowing a frog. While the snake was enjoying its meal, the girls quickly scampered past the snake and ran as quickly as they could. By the time they reached their house at the end of the lane, they were out of breath.
Opening the door, the aroma of cinnamon wafted through the house, Susan and Sharon dropped their school things down on the sofa. They shouted, "Hello Mom!" Their mom responded, "You have a snack in the kitchen." With their mouths salivating, they were in the kitchen in a wink. Devouring their warm cinnamon rolls, they washed them down with their cup of cold milk. Off from the kitchen, their mom was sewing. She called out to them from her sewing machine, "Be sure to put everything away and place your dirty dishes in the sink." The girls sang out, "We will!"
After their snack, they went into the living room and went through their mother's magazines to get ideas on how they wanted to decorate their playhouse. Along with all the magazines, there was a book of wallpaper samples. Both girls agreed that the wallpaper could be used on the walls of the empty building that had three windows in the front with chicken wire across each window frame.
After dinner, Susan and Sharon cleared the table. The girls asked their mom if it was okay to make a playhouse in the empty building next to the garden. Their mom replied, "Sure! It will need a lot of sweeping and cleaning, but you girls are big enough to handle that since you will be in third grade when school begins." Cheerfully, the girls squealed, "Yay!"
Before going to sleep, the girls silently read their books. Once finished, they turned off their nightstand lamps. Unsurprisingly, the girls were super excited about their playhouse plans. Amazingly, Susan and Sharon went right to sleep dreaming about their Summer playhouse.
Following their breakfast of corn flakes with strawberries, milk, and cranberry juice, the girls gathered up their broom and cleaning supplies and started to work on the old empty building. Because the building was extremely dirty, the girls spent three days cleaning it out.
The next two days, Susan and Sharon taped wallpaper to the walls and hung old yellow lace curtains up at the windows, and added some boxes and blankets for furniture. Of course, their playhouse had a few dolls and stuffed animals too. From a paper plate, they made a clock like the one they made at school and tacked it to the wall. Finding a discarded animal picture in a frame, the girls hung it on the wallpapered wall. Now, their playhouse was finished and exactly how they wanted. Once completed, they spent three wonderful weeks playing in the playhouse.
At the beginning of the fourth week, their mother shared with them some important and upsetting news that brought tears to their eyes. The building they were using was needed for their Uncle Chester's chicks, baby chickens. Their grandfather Foresturn owned the farmland and the other buildings where they resided, they rented the home from their grandfather for a paltry sum. Their grandfather said that the building had to be emptied for the chicks so they would have shelter and away from the hens and roosters. Of course, the girls understood that the baby chickens needed a home, but they were so sad that they were losing their playhouse.
Once their crying stopped, the girls wiped their tear-stained faces. The following day, they emptied the building and turned their attention to the old red barn. Inside the old barn, there was a hayloft, where they could play dress-up and where they pretend to be queens and princesses. Fabricating plays, their original plays were performed on the hayloft which was high above the barn floor, and the loft looked exactly like a stage to them. The loft became their theatre stage. In addition to acting out their very own made-up plays and singing the songs that they learned in school, Susan and Sharon would spend hours in the loft reading and writing down their songs and stories.
Two weeks later, the girls were given the bad news that the hayloft was needed. There were 100 bales of hay that were to be stored in the loft. This time, there were no tears. While playing inside the old red barn, they discovered the crop storage area that was divided into three parts which would become their next playhouse. Susan and Sharon were elated because they had their grandfather's approval to use the storage area in the old barn.
Indeed, they knew that their new playhouse would be better than the one before because of their previous experience. This time, it only took one days to clean up the area. Again, they used old curtains, wallpaper samples, boxes, blankets, discarded household items, their own artwork along with dolls and stuffed animals to complete and decorate the Summer playhouse.
After several weeks, Susan and Sharon played and enjoyed their Summer playhouse. Because they had an imaginary home of their own in the old barn, it was a happy and glorious time for the twins.
Unsettlingly, they were alerted, and they heard the news on the television. The weather forecasters were predicting a hurricane to hit the area East of their location. As the tropical storm raged closer, it was announced that they were in the path of the storm.
Of course, Susan's and Sharon's mother advised the girls to get the blankets and toys from the barn since there was an approaching storm and a hurricane. Their mother ordered, "Please take some of the blankets to the basement. With the storm bearing down on us, we must create a comfortable space down there."
In the basement, they huddled together and listened to the radio news reports regarding the hurricane along with the other news alerts. Hearing the loud whistle sound of the approaching storm, the scary noise outside frightened the girls. Sharon nervously spoke, "Mom, mom it sounds like a train going through the house." Their mother confidently reassured, "We should be okay in the basement.
"Since we already ate our sandwiches, do you want your brownies for dessert?" asked their mother. "Yes, please!" chimed the girls. Just then, the radio announcer reported that the storm should pass through the area in an hour or two. The time passed quickly as they sang songs and played games by candlelight.
Suddenly the storm was over; now, all was quiet. Susan and Sharon asked in unison, "Can we go upstairs now?" Their mom sighed, "Lets' go!" The girls walked up the steps ahead of their mother. Susan opened the basement door and the living room appeared to be okay. Amazingly, they found the house was still standing. They noticed that a kitchen window was blown out and the front door was ajar.
Shocked! In disbelief, the girls cried, "The old barn is gone!
About the Creator
Barbara J Iversen, also known as Babs Iverson, lives in Texas and loves her grandkids to the moon and back. After writing one story, she found that writing has many benefits especially during a pandemic and a Texas-size Arctic Blast.