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I have developed a new problem, recently.

I’m coveting cupolas.

Worshipping weather vanes.

I went to Vermont, you see.

“Verdant Vermont”, as Practical Man and I called it as we ooh’d and aah’d our way through the Spring countryside rolling hills.

We have been there before but this time, we noticed that it was very green.

highway view in Vermont - green leaves and mountains

We’re pretty sure this isn’t how “verdant” is pronounced but for this trip, we decided we should make it rhyme with “Vermont”.

Verdant Vermont, get it?

They are probably going to want to adopt it as a slogan, of course.

“Visit us in Verdant Vermont.”

We amuse ourselves easily, yes sirree.

That’s how you get to 20 years of wedded bliss, dontcha know.

All the verdant was probably on account of the torrential rain the day and night before.  During the storm, we were very cozy in our vintage Boler travel trailer, alone in the campground.  I am reading my way through my vintage Nancy Drew collection so I was deeply embroiled in The Mystery of the Bungalow (and wondering how one canoes wearing a dress) while I listened to the lovely sound of rain on the Boler roof.

Our 13-foot Boler

A 13-foot trailer seems so luxurious after a lifetime of camping in tents and when it’s pouring sheets of rain outside.

Maybe the other campers didn’t have a vintage Nancy Drew book to antagonize and entertain them because they had all left.  Even the ones in giant motor homes with big-screen TVs and walk-in closets.  It seems that the first sign of inclement weather causes those campers to run home to a different big-screen TV and walk-in closet.

That’s okay because it means more ice cream for me.

The morning after the storm, I ate Ben and Jerry’s at 10:00 am, tra-la-la.

There was a factory and it was cultural experience so I had two scoops:  fudge brownie something and chocolate peanut-butter something else.

I’ve never had Ben and Jerry’s ice cream before.

I might need to try it again to make sure I like it.

Then, we went to the chocolate factory nearby.

Perhaps you can see why I love Vermont.

So much tra-la-la!

We followed the windy roads and hunted for the covered bridges that were on the map.

Covered bridge, surrounded by trees

We went up the super fun, seasonal road to Smuggler’s Notch and marvelled at the giant boulders all around that had been chucked down the mountain, probably by some demi-god having a temper tantrum.

huge boulders alongside hairpin turn of road

And, I fell in love with all the houses.

I think there is a Vermont rule:  no ugly houses allowed.

The Pinterest addict in me approves.

I also fell in love with the cupolas.

This cupola was in New York state actually, but you get the idea.

Little ones.

Big ones.

Ones with vents.

Ones with weather vanes.

I want one.

My kingdom for a cupola!

We have two sets of louvered doors in one of our (cupola-less) outbuildings, so now, I have dreams and plans for an upcycled cupola of our very own.

Practical Man is on the case.  So far, he’s going along with putting a cupola on the workshop building.

That’s how you get to 20 years of wedded bliss, dontcha know.

But, I’m not sure I’m allowed to go back to Vermont.

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There is a type of person who aspires to live in weird places.

Like, a lighthouse, say.

Or, a converted barn.

Who me?

Yes me, but not just me.  There are other weirdos about.

Behold the Tiny House movement.

Naturally, I would love a Tiny House.

Of course, a vintage Boler is really a kind of Tiny House.

Our vintage Boler travel trailer with awning up, rug and chairs in front, door open

Tra-la-la.

Arlo Guthrie memorialized the cool, weird house back in the 1960s with his song, “Alice’s Restaurant” in which Alice, Ray, and Potcho the Dog lived in an old church.

My dad introduced me to the song when I was about 12.  As an adult, my friend and fellow Alice’s Restaurant fan, Bamboo Guy, even owned a church that was very swoon-y.  Bruce Cockburn lives there now and how cool is that?

I’ve wanted to live in a church ever since.

And, even before.

In fact, my fascination with weird houses manifested itself as a child when, with every snowstorm, I attempted to build a house made from snow.

Unfortunately, I never learned the Inuit tradition of igloos (although I tried to build one many times!)

Usually, it was just me and my sister with shovels and soggy mittens, making a hole in the snow bank at the end of our driveway and trying to pretend that the result was a cozy as a Hobbit house.

In a melty, collapse-on-your-head kind of way.

My mother was concerned (as all Canadian mothers were) that the snowplow driver would kill us, by accident, with all that gallivanting at the street side.

That meant, my other option was an old margarine container in the back yard.

I would pack the snow in the container tightly, then tip it out carefully on the ground.

Sometimes, it was that dumb sugary snow that wouldn’t hold together.

Boo, hoo, hoo.

Other times, it was close to Spring and my “bricks” had a lot of leaves and twigs in the mix.

It marred the pristine, crystalline, margarine beauty I was going for, but I tried to just pretended it was mortar.

I wonder if Frank Lloyd Wright ever had these kinds of issues?

I’d lay out the floor plan:  kitchen here, library here, secret passageways there.

My projects always seemed to cover the whole back yard.

Not one able to keep to minimalism even then, no siree.

Which meant that either I got discouraged, or the snow melted before my margarine-tub-formed walls were more than about ankle height.

As an adult, I drag Practical Man around to look at every weird building I can find.

Yesterday’s schoolhouse was very fun.

Historic brick schoolhouse front with bell tower

Built in 1847, it counts as “very old” among buildings in Canada.

It was kind of in the boonies, of course, since that’s where country schoolhouses tend to spring up.

It still had slate chalkboards.

Original slate blackboards with wood wainscotting below

Be still my heart.

There were tin ceilings in what used to be the girl’s and boy’s entrance foyers.   Oh yes, they were of a time:

tin ceilings - scrolly square pattern

And the original schoolhouse lights (SIX!):

Wooden floors, blackboards, view of one schoolhouse light on the ceiling

Swoon-y swoon, swoon.

As you may have observed, it even had a bell tower.

Ding, ding, ding!

Minus the bell, but I’m sure we could remedy that.

Alas, it had a bidding war planned for Monday and about 10 years of hard labour involved after purchase.

Boo, hoo, hoo.

One of the things stopping me from buying some of these weird buildings (besides a usefully-practical Practical Man) is their one-room schoolhouse size.

Since we can’t usually afford the life-size ones that don’t have 10 years of hard labour, I’ve been collecting small buildings.

Fisher Price vintage ones.

I’m sure you guessed that’s what I meant, since I have no children and I’m pushing 50.

They do take up a bit of space, as you can imagine.

So far, I have a castle:

vintage fisher price castle with Queen and Princess standing on the drawbridge

A farm:

Vintage Fisher Price farm with animals, silo, and farmer driving tractor

Sesame Street:

Vintage Fisher Price Sesame Street with garbage truck, The Count, Mrs and Mr. Hooper, Ernie

an A-frame Cottage:

Vintage Fisher Price A Frame Cottage with RV

A Firehouse:

Vintage Fisher Price fire station with fire trucks, ladder truck, ambulance, police car

and perhaps best of all,

the School house:

Fisher Price Schoolhouse with bus, swing set, merry go round

This Schoolhouse was the perfect price and size.

It even has a bell in the bell tower.

Tra-la-la.