Thursday, June 5, 2008

In Her Bower, Enclosed

We recently converted our old portable building from a school room into a craft room for Emma. Her projects were taking over the house. We had referred to the building as "the schoolroom" for so long, though, that it was hard to stop. Finally, I asked Emma what she wanted to call it. She thought for a moment and said, "Call it my bower,".

"What is a bower?" I asked.

"It's a room in a castle where ladies go to sew, spin, and weave," she said.

I copied this definition from Webster's online. (I think.)

Main Entry: 1bow·er
Pronunciation: \ˈbau̇(-ə)r\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English bour dwelling, from Old English būr; akin to Old English & Old High German būan to dwell, Old English bēon to be — more at be
Date: before 12th century
1 : an attractive dwelling or retreat
2 : a lady's private apartment in a medieval hall or castle
3 : a shelter (as in a garden) made with tree boughs or vines twined together : arbor
— bow·ery \-ē\ adjective

So far Emma has her loom, spinning wheel, serger, sewing machine, ironing board, and work table in her bower. She also has one of those tables that conceals four chairs inside a cabinet. You can keep the table folded up and out of the way or open it, set your four chairs out, and host a tea party. This is Emma's plan.

Upstairs is a loft retreat, in case bower life gets too stressful.

Tuesday we bought three garlands of various flowers to decorate the windows. Yesterday Emma went with our friend Lee to a class at the Crosby Community Center and learned how to paint stepping stones to look like flowers. She will paint a whole series of them leading up to her bower porch.

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