The little cottage on the corner is believed to be the only home in the community with a little white picket fence.
Each of the 219 pickets cut from pallets. Free lumber.
Eight-hundred and seventy-six nails, all hand-driven, not counting the ones that were bent, nor the nail on his finger which he had hit.
Climbing roses will grow there.
Already one rose bush has been planted.
A child’s swing will hang from the branches of the corner cedar tree.
She has a gate of her own, just for her.
The little white picket fence has drawn a lot of passers-by to simply grin and wave if passing; some to stop, roll down their window if driving; straddle their bicycle if riding; slow their stroller if strolling.
Total strangers for the most part.
But they all remark how they’ve watched this project since the first hole was dug, to the last nail pounded, to the third and final coat of paint.
All of them smile, some say how adorable, and still others wonder who, if not them (is it for rent, for sale?) the occupants might be.
The fenced-in yard is almost the same size as the home.
In other words, it’s tiny. All of it.
Not a mansion. Just an oversized doll house.
But while the little white picket fence is small, the love is big – that of the one building because of the little girl who will be playing.
With some adaption from the history which gave rise to the song “Mansion Over the Hilltop” written in 1949 by Ira F. Stanphill whose own story is told in his autobiography “This Side of Heaven” – the first line of those lyrics “I’m satisfied with just a cottage below” – a man had taken a drive through the rural part of the country. As he passed one house it caught his attention. A young girl was swinging back and forth from her perch below the cedar tree. The man stopped and during their conversation he nodded toward her play area and with a sweep of his hand remarked what a fairytale, whimsical place it was where she played.
Bending her knees followed by stretching her legs, her black curls unruly as she reached yet higher and higher, the little girl looked down as with a swoosh she passed by and said, ‘I know. My grandfather made it for me.’