Almost every place that is referenced in the book, Discovering Magic, is a real place here in Minnesota!
The girls’ new home is a house located in Inver Grove Heights, MN. Madison and I drove by the house the other day, and it is almost exactly the same as it was when I was a young girl her age. Back then it belonged to one of my best friends. I spent many days and nights there exploring and making up magical stories with her. (This is the same friend who I explored and rode my bike through South Valley Park with day after day in the summer.)
Somewhere along the line the GIANT blackberry bushes that lined one side of the property were taken out. I have several great memories of getting lost in these bushes and eating blackberries until we were just about sick. If I remember correctly these bushes were a source for much blackberry jam, syrup, and pies!
Sadly the large Maple that was in the backyard has been since taken out. I don’t want to give anything away, but that tree is an exciting part of the book, Discovering Magic. My friend and I had many picnics under that tree and also played with clay sculptures of our own making in the hole made by two roots at the base of the tree. It was a magical place that offered two young girls hours of imaginary play and memories.
The old swing-set that used to be along the back fence of the yard has also been taken out. This is probably a very good thing. I remember it being on it’s last leg back in 1986.
Although a few things have changed, the chain-link dog kennel is still intact at the back of the garage, and the swing is still hanging on the front porch.
Back when I was a kid this house always smelled so good. My friend’s mom loved bee’s wax candles and the whole house smelled of them. Her dad also smoked a pipe from time to time. In the fall I can still remember the smell of that pipe smoke mixed with the waxy honey smell of the candles. Because of these wonderful memories I always have bee’s wax candles in my home as an adult. That smell will always make me feel warm and good inside.
It was great to drive by and reminisce about those days in my childhood. I am so happy that I get to share this house with all of you. I hope I can get across the wonderful magical aura that was always present there.