The Dollhouse Builders of Westview Meadows, continued

John and Margot inspect dollhouse details

I’ve been visiting John and Julio for several weeks, helping them with their wiring and with bits-and-pieces of the dollhouse building and decorating process.  Some of the things we do when I’m there are things I’m good at, some of the things are brand new for me (last night I hooked-up the ‘glowing embers’ circuitry for a fireplace). 

One of the things that really impresses me whenever I visit is how many of the folks that live there drop by for a moment of admiration or a conversation about the progress and process of this dollhouse build.  Each new step in the assembly brings a fresh review of where we are and where we’re going, and there is a background humm of activity and interest that circles around this project. 

Last night, Evelyn stopped in several times to comment, compliment, and to learn how to use my digital camera.  Evelyn will be 100 next month and is active and involved, and I look forward to seeing her when I visit.  I took her picture, then she took mine!

Evelyn and the Bostonian Dollhouse          Julio, Gary, and John by the Bostonian Dollhouse

It is easy to see that John, Julio, and Pat (who does interiors and curtains) are kept busy by having a dollhouse to work on.  Their hands are busy and their minds are busy and they are doing something extraordinary for the whole neighborhood (they have turned into one of the biggest fundraising resources for many of the local non-profits).  They have the personal satisfaction of the dollhouse itself, and they have the pride of accolades from ‘out there’… from strangers who now know a little of their story and can’t say enough how grateful they are.  The Dollhouse Builders of Westview Meadows have become the quietest of local celebrities, admired for their skill and their generosity.

There is another piece of generosity at work here, quieter still.  Behind the Dollhouse builders of Westview Meadows is a giver that makes this all possible, that enables this busyness and admiration.  The gift of a few dollhouse kits a year sets the stage for all of this – this activity, this humm of interest, this focal point in the Westview Meadows community that brings the residents out for a visit (I know it’s not my striking good looks).  I admit that my first impression left me a little miffed that so many people were taking advantage of the gift that, in the shallowest sense, was given to only one of the builders.  So many other people were ‘taking over’ the process and getting involved.  Silly Me!  What greater gift could anyone give a retired parent than to be in the center of a circle of friends, of being involved and admired and trusted! 

Now I see that this gift is one of community.  Being busy is good, being valued… Fantastic!


PS: I’m not the one who gives the kits, but I’m happy to give my time.  I was asked by my friends to stop by once to help with ‘getting the wiring started’, and I’ve gone back again and again… I’m part of the “background humm” – cool! 

The Dollhouse Builders of Westview Meadows

The Dollhouse Builders of Westview Meadows wire a Bostonian

Vermont’s Governor Douglas admires John and Julio’s Bostonian

One Response to “The Dollhouse Builders of Westview Meadows, continued”

  1. Carly Says:

    It couldn’t just be the striking good looks, but I’m sure that plays a part! It’s so wonderful to see these amazing individuals at work with something that gives them such joy! And John and Julio are pretty cool too 😉 Happy to see that this connection is fruitful, valuable, continuing, and enjoyable for all those involded. Keep up the good work! 😀