Tent Land: Swoon 48
I was part of the “go entertain yourself” generation. Saturday cartoons were over by noon, all day sports weren’t yet a thing (especially for girls) and museum or zoo outings were special occasions. We filled our time figuring out how to fill our time. We arranged our own playdates and planned our own days. We might pack a picnic lunch and walk down to the bay, hiding in reeds pretending we were stuck in quicksand. We might go outside and dig, or swing, or climb the big tree. We might play cars or “peoples” (Fisher Price Little People), there was so much to do.
Winter and rainy days were a different thing. They meant either hanging out with the kids next-door (dinner at the house with the best mom-made meal option) or just spending day with my little brother. Those might turn into a “Let’s Make a Tent Land” day. This involved taking every blanket in the house, all of the sofa cushions, brooms, rope, and books…and building a new reality. Between these items, gravity, parent’s who would just walk through the room and say “you are cleaning this all up”, and luck, we created a maze of twisting and turning tented tunnels. These tunnels lead to the “good room” which was made up of the lightest blankets held up with brooms balanced between couches, and tied to the stair banisters with rope. Creating tent land could take hours. There were structural tests and failures, and hysterical laughter and arguments, as brooms balanced with blankets on top collapsed again…and again. Once we got it right, we would reward ourselves with ritz cracker peanut butter and jelly “sandwiches” while watching tv in our new space (because of course there was a tv in there). It was safe, it was ours, it was glorious. Swoon.
This past fall I designed an invitation package for a gala benefitting a local hospital. They created their very own “tent land” on the hospital parking lot, there was a catering tent, a cocktail and dancing tent, and a tent for the sit-down dinner and auction. It was beyond spectacular. Funds were being raised for hospital’s innovative healthcare, groundbreaking research, and general goodness. Greg and I were invited the cocktail portion…a rare chance to see the menu, program, slideshow, and posters I designed in action. We got all dolled up and arrived to see the huge, beautiful, glowing tents in front of the hospital. It was magical.
Today I read that this very hospital is creating another “tent land” in their parking lot…there is no more room to treat patients inside the hospital, so they will treat them in tents. I am not sure I ever thought we would be living a M.A.S.H episode in my neighborhood, but it has come to that. I look forward to the day when tents are used for celebrating, where healthcare workers are safe, where sick people are treated inside the hospital instead of in the parking lot.