I have such fond memories of when my children were small, and we would sit snuggled together on the couch reading our favorite stories. I have to admit that a couple of stories in particular (both co-written and illustrated by Mark Teague) were a special joy to page through for me. I don’t think you will be surprised… it was because of the houses.
Gracie, the little dog who has an adventure when the painters come one day to paint her house, lives in an especially lovely Victorian.
If you look closely, you can see her in the window downstairs….
Much to her surprise, she is put out by the painters…
and the fun begins! As we come along on her adventure, we catch glimpses of the neighborhood houses…. What a treat!
And then there is Willobee Street, a charming, picturesque, yet wacky place….
where Ma Brindle, standing on her porch below, has baked a pie so sweet and irresistible everyone (including the neighborhood cats and dogs) have overindulged…and are lulled into a sugary-sweet stupor.
The streetlight glow, the generous front porches, the gabled roof lines, the leafy green trees…they make me happy. And they capture an essence, a spirit of place that I don’t know that I could put into words.
What places, fantasy or otherwise, feel that way to you? Pay attention–look for inspiration in all kinds of places. See what feels like home to your heart. This focus will help you to bring little bits and pieces of that contentment, creativity, warmth and significance home to where you live in the real world, and we will all be better for it!