Everyone agreed that the old playhouse had become very dilapidated. The Twinns had acquired it second hand, and it had never been in the best of shape to begin with. The roof leaked, the floor had rotted out, and the whole thing ended up being just a repository for old chairs, lumber, and junk. Only the morning glories that Annette had planted made the playhouse look respectable.
So the Twinns started to save their spare change in hopes of buying a new house. Every Sunday as soon as the newspaper would come, someone would grab it and read the “Houses for Sale” section, even before they read the comics.
They would circle any ads that looked good, and then head off to consult Jin Ran, who served as treasurer for the Continuum.
Hopefully, Jin Ran and Coalface would unlock the box. But the total would always be a disappointment. Averaging around $27.45 (plus a smiley face button and a cat’s eye marble), the total was never enough for even a down payment on a new house. Of course it didnt help when Paris decided to use some of the money for a new pair of boots
But she was always good with an IOU and would pay the money back as soon as she got her allowance.
Kimmie and Jane and Carlisle were discussing the situation one morning. “You know I have those Swiss bank accounts,” Carlisle reminded the girls.
“Oh, Carlisle, we can’t take your money,” replied Jane. “We know you save it for poor and struggling crocs in other lands.”
“And Twinns,” said Kimmie, who knew of the secret generosity that Carlisle did not brag about, when he rescued Twinns from bad situations and found them new homes. “But there must be something we can do, Winter is coming and I don’t think our old playhouse will survive till next Summer. Jane, what about that big room in the back of the garage? Couldn’t we move all our stuff in there?”
“I never thought of that,” said Jane, who knew that the room had recently been cleared. “Let’s go look!”
The three hurried out to the garage and inspected the room. “It will be perfect if we can just get some lights and electric outlets,” commented Carlisle.
“Libby knows all that stuff,” said Kimmie. “She rewired a lamp for me one time. And let’s ask Randy to repair that broken window.”
Randy and Libby were happy to work on the new room. “Everybody will be so pleased,” Libby commented as she climbed the ladder to put in the last bulb. “It will be great to have our own room at last.”
“And a floor and no leaks in the roof,” Randy agreed. “Carlisle, can we tell people about it now?”
“Yes,” said Carlisle. “I am going to go tell the Emmas myself.”
Several of the Emmas were working in the garden. Carin and Penny were cutting lavender to dry, and Kerry was picking peppers. Taryn was digging out a space to plant the fall radishes.
Cavendish was teaching them one of his old army songs.
“What’s the use of worrying? It never was worthwhile, SOOO….
Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile,”
sang the Emmas and Cavendish loudly.
“That’s a great song,” said Kerry.
“There was one chap in my unit who used to sing ‘Pack up your laundry’, I expect he was a territorial or something.” Cavendish was saying, as Carlisle came to the garden.
In a few minutes they had come to what was to become their new space. The sun poured in the big windows.
“This is so cool,” said Taryn. “Wow, my voice echoes in here.”
“Wait till we get the furniture in,” said Carin, envisioning how happy everyone would be to have his or her possessions in one easily accessible spot.
“Here is the first thing we should hang up!” Penny had brought in the Croc Camp flag. The girls solemnly hung it on the wall.
“Look at all the sawdust on the floor,” said Kerry. “We’d better clean it before anyone brings anything else in here.”
“Let’s go get the Caities,” suggested Penny. “After all, we all know…”
“Caities love to vacuum,” the four Twinns and Carlisle all said at once!
So soon Wendy and Cammie were hard at work with the shop vac. As soon as they had finished, Rory and Cathy arrived with their stove. “This is great,” said Cathy. “Finally a safe spot for our kitchen. And look at this big pantry for our dishes and food.”
“And there’s even a little hook for the hotpad,” Rory remarked, pleased.
Just then Kelani and Lucy came in. Lucy had recently moved to the Continuum from China and did not speak English, though she was starting to pick up a word here and there. Fortunately Kelani spoke fluent Chinese (Kelani loved learning new languages and was fluent in quite a few and could hold her own in several more) and translated for Lucy. “Lucy made these lanterns and she is hoping you might want to hang them in the kitchen area.”
“Oh Lucy, they’re beautiful,” said Rory with a smile. “Thank you so much for thinking of us! Get the ladder, Cathy, and we’ll hang them right up!”
The four Twinns quickly hung the lanterns and then Kelani and Lucy stayed to help unpack the dishes.
Meanwhile, Laura had come running in. “Oh look, carpet!” she exclaimed. She kicked off her shoes and bounced up and down. “Wow, we are hitting the big time now. What can I do to help, girls?”
“Why don’t you wash the windows?” Rory suggested. “They’re pretty dusty.”
“Sure thing,” said Laura.
Carin and Sarah, meanwhile, had carried in several boxes of materials to make chairs. The Twinns had purchased and stashed them away for when they would have their own space. The girls spread the pieces on the floor. Sarah wielded the Allen wrench while Carin read the instructions. “Good thing there are only three steps because these instructions make no sense at all,” joked Carin.
“Now, Carin,” teased Sarah Willow, “I would not be meeting the Sarah Willow heritage if I couldn’t put together a chair in three steps. I just wish they had chosen to do screws instead of these Allen wrench things. For four chairs I’m ending up with four Allen wrenches. Just what I need in my tool box.”
“Oh, you’ll find some use for them,” said Carin. “Maybe you could take up welding and make a sculpture or something, or swop them for something new for your toolbox.”
“Right,” said Sarah. “Who wants to try out this chair?!”
Sarah and Carin went to open the next chair box, while Kerry set up her ironing board and iron and proceeded to iron the slip covers and curtains.
She brought in her radio so the girls could listen to the “Mid Morning with Elinor” show on radio WTWINN while they worked. Kimmie had e-mailed Elinor, who played Crosby, Stills, and Nash singing “Our House” for the Twinn Continuum while the girls sang along.
“Our house is a very very very fine house,”
Everyone was bustling around, unpacking things. Brooke and Penny unpacked a big bin of hats. Some they put in a drawer in a little storage unit which was at one side of the room. Others they put on clips and hung on the wall. “I never knew we had all these hats,” said Brooke, trying one on.
“Neither did I,” said Penny. “We will be all set the next time we want to dress up.”
Jessie and Cecilia unpacked the dresses and put them on a storage rack. “These racks hold a lot of hangers,” commented Jessie.
“I don’t know if I’m ready to look at these Christmas dresses,” said Cecilia. “I guess Christmas will be here before we know it.”
Randy brought in another bin of dresses. He pulled one out and pretended to wear it. “What do you think, girls? It’s me, isn’t it?”
Jessie and Cecilia laughed. “I don’t think so, Randy,” said Jessie. “Now go away and let us work.”
“You girls have no sense of style,” said Randy, chuckling as he went to find Jeremy so they could get the kitchen table out of storage.
Meanwhile, Meko and Pat brought in the bed and made it up. Ginger the cat, as cats will do, jumped on it as soon as the spread was unfolded and tested it out. “This pillow looks like you, Ginger,” said Pat.
Meko smiled. “This will be a good place for our patients, right by the window where they can get plenty of light and fresh air.”
“Yoo Hoo, Sofa coming through,” called Janna.
“Where shall we put it?” asked Eileen.
“Oh, right over here by the bed,” said Meko. “There’s a nice spot.”
Randy and Jeremy brought in the table and Carin put two of the chairs with it. Jeremy helped Olivia put on the strawberry tablecloth, but it was soon taken off again, as Olivia and Pat decided to do a jigsaw puzzle when the work was finished and the room had taken shape.
Finally the Twinns could relax in a room that was all their own. Everyone was very pleased, with lots of ideas for future adventures to come. Already the Emmas had decided to hold their monthly meeting in the new space and Wendy was going to ask if her SOCK members could hold their meeting in it. Kimmie had already decided that what the new space needed was a planning board with lots of pins and flags and dates written in, and everybody agreed that just maybe a Twinn housewarming party would be just the thing before Winter started to make itself known.
© DRW, JE Sturgis 2007-2018. Moved to blog 03/09/2015