Today I went to the toy store with my kids. My son had saved up for a Lego set and now he was ready to buy it. The store was not crowded and so we took our time after we found his legos to look around and see what was new. I love toy stores. The only time I don't particularly care for them is around Christmas time when they are hot and crowded and the energy in them is that of pure desperation to find that one toy missing on the list; but today was different. It wasn't crowded and Christmas is still far enough away. My daughter who is 12 still enjoys looking at all the cute stuffed animals and craft projects. My son was pretty much dedicated to the Lego aisle. I am always drawn to the doll houses. Every since I could remember Doll houses have been my favorite. The dolls house sold at toy stores are usually made of hard plastic and cost anywhere between $59. to $179.+ dollars. The ones that I was always intrigued with were the wooden ones. I had friend who had a real doll house; one with mini wall paper and moulding on the walls. It had real rugs and the plates and utensils were made of porcelain and metal. The chandelier seemed made of real crystals and the baby's room even had tiny teddy bears made of material and stuffed to feel the same as the real thing. When my friend got older the dollhouse became a part of her mother and father's living room dusted occasionally but never really played with. A guest to their home once offered them 5,000 dollars for the house and my friend flatly refused. Another friend of mine showed me her childhood doll house that her brother lovingly built for her. There before me was another masterpiece of miniature proportions. Beds made out of real wood and curtains perfectly sewn with teeny tiny lace edgings were trapped in time. Every now and then I would come across a doll house in a craft store or on display and that old yearning for one bubbled through. You see a doll house was never on my list for Christmas and I don't know why. Maybe I thought they might be too expensive and I knew my Mom and Dad could not afford such a thing? I don't know. All I know is the yearning for one was always there. A few years back I went to my favorite craft store and saw that they were having a sale on.....doll houses! They are sold in kits but were still priced a bit too high for me; The least of which was $250. Then I saw the cabin. A box with a one room cabin kit inside. Perfect size and perfect price. It was marked down to $25. I quickly bought it and spent one afternoon putting it together and painting it. In the following weeks my daughter and I bought furniture and she volunteered her old "Loving Family" dolls as the new "home owners" I made pioneer or Amish clothes for them. They are a bit disproportionate not being exactly the 1/12 ratio but look cute just the same. I placed the whole thing in the bay window of the kitchen and for the most part watch it get destroyed everyday as my dog max shoves his front paws on the window to watch for squirrels ( well, at least he doesn't eat them). Now today while we looked at all those toys (and I mentally took notes of all the prices) I looked at the doll houses and turned to my daughter and asked......Hey what about..... She said " Naw mom,....I'm kind of big for that now." Too grown for a doll house? My Twelve year old is too grown for a doll house. How come I'm not? At home I took ten minutes or so to fix up the cabin . I placed the toppled over dolls in their rightful spots and straightened the table setting with the fake chocolate cake I made. My daughter fixed the animals in the barn (we made out of lincoln logs) and said "Hey mom, you know what we need here? A garden.".... I just listened and smiled.