Wrapped in Brown Paper


As a person who is likely soon to be homeless, I am extra cheeseball lately about the general concept. But it's one of those words, isn't it? You'll find it in the dictionary, properly and succinctly described in a meagre sentence or two: home. A four letter word to encapsulate mountains of human emotion. But you get it. We all get it. Even a 6 year old and a 2 year old get it. Home is just home. And it defies description.

I needed a project to get me away from the computer screen so I don't end up despising my own novel and, in some freudian fit, I fixed on building a cardboard dollhouse for my little girlies. It's not fancy or perfect, although surprisingly structurally sound. I literally used garbage bin cardboard, scrapbooking scraps and a whole lot of glue, all wrapped up in brown paper. But you'd think I'd invented ice cream, the way the beetles oohed and aahed.

Dolly and the Bean came over with a backpack filled to the zipper with dolls and figurines. And they played. For hours. And I spent hours just watching them roll up dishcloths to make couches and beds and assign all the disney princesses bedrooms.

I wished for a moment that I had spent more time on the details. That I'd added a crystal chandelier and straw in the stable and some furniture. I wished that I'd at least taken the time to peel away all the webby strings of glue left by the darn glue gun. But it didn't matter much. What Dolly and the Bean saw at once was the possibility for happiness, not the gaping seams where I didn't measure the cardboard accurately.

I thought of all the crapholes I've lived in over the years and how much I loved each one. Not for the absence of cockroaches or pot-smoking neighbors, because I got plenty of those - and dang it if I haven't had a toilet that flushed properly in over two years - but for the sheer number of possibilities that a home provides.

Home is the physical embodiment of faith, care and ingenuity. It doesn't actually come all done up in brown paper - or vinyl siding - like a slice of plastic perfection. Home is never contained and limited by cheap wrappings or credit consuming upgrades. It's not expensive, it's expansive. So I won't worry too much about what dungeon I will be living in next (I have a strict 'dungeon only' budget). My life has never been very cosmetic. And you can forget this en suite, hardwood, granite counter top, keeping-up-with-the-joneses nonsense that has everyone's heads and bank accounts spinning. If that's all a home was, it could be adequately described in the dictionary after all.

Love, security, peace, hope. What's more valuable than that?

Although, a home really should include little fingers and ponytails if you can possibly manage it.


  1. Those are the cutest little girls I have ever seen. And that house is pretty awesome!

  2. The LDS Church as a history of changing when it becomes expedient to do so. In 1892, after the U.S. government seized all LDS church assets and refused to allow Utah to become a member of the Union until the Church changed it's tune about plural marriage, the Church gave up on the tradition of plural marriage and adopted a doctrine of monogomy and premarital chastity. In 1934, the LDS church did not require strick obiedience to the Word of Wisdom to qualify for temple attendence. In fact, many church leaders were known smokers and occasional users of alcohol. But when the state of Utah became the final state to radify the 23 Amendment, and revoke the constitutional prohabition against alcohol in the United States, the church changed its doctrine to require that all members must strickly comply with the word of wisdom to qualify for LDS temple attendance. Up until the late 1940's, Men in the LDS church wore beards. Indeed George Albert Smith, the president of the church during WWII would be unrecognizable to most of us without his beard. Since about 1950, the Church has forbidden beards on priesthood leaders, primarily because it does not present the right immage. Until 1978, the LDS church prohibited people of Afircan dessent from holding the LDS priesthood, thereby baring them from temple attendence, and in effect baring them from the highest degree of heaven according to LDS theology. The LDS church justified this position for decades by citing such bizzar doctrines that Black people were not vailient in the pre existence and were cursed with a dark skin, and thereby did not qualify for the priesthood, and could only rise to the level of servents in the hereafter. And finally in 1978 the Church changed its position on Black people in the priesthood, and today church leaders freely admit this doctrine was based purely on racism. The idea that the LDS church is perfect and cannot change is arrogant and unreasonable. The idea the women belong only in the home keeping house and having children is born out of en economic era when such an idea was necessary to maintian a sucessful culture based on agraculture. In todays modern world were most of us do not have farms and most of us live in two income families, the idea that the only place for women is in the home keeping house and having babies is outdated and irrrelevant. To stay relevant in the lives of those that love it, the LDS church must adopt a more enlightened position on women and homosexuals, or it will eventually fade away and die.

    1. HUH? @James Schollian What does this have to do with making a doll house? You have presented a very weird, off the topic, history lesson where you got a few of the facts wrong along the way. Hope you find what you are looking for.

      Back to the topic of the post. The doll house looks AWESOME!

    2. @James Schollian - You need a hobby other than nastiness. Maybe ... you could try building something like this beautiful doll house? I think you might find that you like making children as happy as these two obviously are. :o)
      Great job Ginger!! I am collecting things for a doll house of my own. You inspire me!

  3. I'm a stranger but I wanted to chime in and say "Hey! I found you on Pinterest and I loved your article!" I felt like I was reading something I could have written (in my writer-dreams I am quite clever ;) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter, I really, really appreciated it :)

  4. This cardboard house is brilliant, I love it~ You've inspired me, thank you!

  5. I absolutely agree with your article about women and the priesthood. It was brilliantly written and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Your above commentor (James) obviously doesn't appreciate the higher calling of a mother, since he feels that women staying home was for agricultural reasons. Children are more than cotton-pickers and shaping them to be wonderful members of society takes more than a daycare (which interestingly enough are mostly ran by women.) Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  6. I also agree with your blog about women and the priesthood. I like how you explained it so clearly. It is how I would say it if I was a good writer. I feel that my husband's priesthood blesses me and my family every bit as much as it blesses him. He can't give himself a blessing. Also, we need to remember that priesthood power only works for righteous desires. It is power from God and He decides who gets it and how it can be used.

  7. Love it, love it, love it...well put. Truth will go boldly and ever more stronger and I am grateful for those who are gifted with the ability to articulate so well (like you) to continue to shout all truth on rooftops. until they penetrate all death ears, the proud-hearted and the stiff-necked. thank you.