For many years my mother worked next door to our house as the administrator of a nursing home. The building was an old red brick mansion complete with an expansive front porch and a carriage house in the back. On the side facing my home was a driveway that passed by a side entrance and ended in a back parking lot. Beyond that was the red brick carriage house which was used for extra storage and a second garage for my family.
The carriage house was fun to explore. It had two levels, the upper of which was intriguing. At the stairway end was my dad's camping gear and at the far end was a hole in the floor through which hay had been lowered to horses. In between was a spacious and rather empty area.
My sister and I would daydream about how we would remodel and decorate the building. We thought it would make a great apartment, which was where my sister dreamed of living as an adult. That was not my dream; nevertheless, it was fun to imagine the place as a modern 1960's apartment in a big city--somewhere other than our midwest hometown of 20,000.
The interest in decorating probably came from my mother, who had a natural talent for such and did paid consulting for locals. Our home was an old house that my parents bought and remodeled when I was about 10. My sister and I were old enough to hear all about the plans and watch the transformation. We were included in the planning of our bedrooms, and my mother would often run her ideas by us for other rooms. If she was not remodeling she was moving furniture, changing furniture, painting, planning, or driving around town with us and imagining what she would do with other people's homes. She always had a few favorites.
In the end, the carriage house remained a garage. My sister went to college, married, and eventually bought a home. I lived in apartments until marrying late. So many times what we think we want when young changes as we grow up, but isn't the dreaming fun!
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