My best friend Mikey and I used to play “leprechaun land” when I spent the night at his house across the street. We took all the couch cushions from his mother’s sofa sets and set two vertical with one horizontal to stabilize the structure, then we covered it with blankets and held it erect with a fan and scotch tape—a bubble tent.
To his mother it looked like a mess, but to us, it was Ireland, beautiful and green, rabbit holes and little burrows with earthen floors and kettles, pantries with grain and barley, over stuffed chairs for little people, fireplaces and pots of gold—a perfect little world of nooks and treasures, warm and cozy.
The fans were not cold and the tape was not sticky, Missouri was very far away, perhaps not even real.
It was a time when being an adult meant “running errands” (which were fun places you wanted to go and your children did not) and keeping an erratic schedule of your choosing. It meant no bedtime, and that scotch probably tasted like butterscotch and brandy was a little like liquid shortbread with vanilla. This was when thimbles were darling and rose buds amazing, the layers and layers of delicate petals growing as they pleased, and that black olives must taste like chocolate chip cookies to some people, just not to me.