Friday, December 30, 2011

Precious Family Treasures

I really think that I take after my mom in a lot of ways. Mom was a keeper. She liked to hang on to things that had sentimental value; items with family connections. I am very much this way as well, opting to give away or sell newer pieces of furniture, for example, to make room for items with family history. If I can't get my hands on the original, I am drawn to things just like those I recall from visiting my grandma or favorite aunt's farm. What may appear as a box of rusty old junk sitting in the back of my uncle's garage was a gold mine to me! Grandpa's old screwdriver? The horse shoe that hung over the garage? My grandma's chicken scale - these were all parts of my heritage and I gladly give any cast-offs a new home. What also made these items important were the stories that went along with them. I often encouraged my mother to record her stories and I'd type them up for her, but sadly, she never did and I don't remember all of the details nor do I have the flair for retelling them like somebody who lived the experience did. Mom passed in 2007 from a massive stroke, at the age of 87. Since then, I have clung dearly to anything that reminds me of her and helps to fill the void in my heart.


During a recent visit with my dad, he bestowed upon me some items that warmed my heart to the core; Mom's doll collection. I remember these dolls from when I was a child. My mom and I would take them out, admire them, and she would tell me stories about how they came to be. These are true treasures; ones that Dad thought could be handed down to Abigail when she is older. In the meantime, I will act as their guardian and enjoy having them in our home.

The first little lady is Chuckles. I have no idea why she is named that, but I do know that Mom said when she was 4 or 5, all the kids would frequently go to the store "in town" to see what toys and other items were in the window for Christmas. Mom saw Chuckles and instantly fell in love with her, telling everyone else that she was hers. There was another admirer who claimed she would be getting Chuckles, but my mom was tough. She exclaimed that no, Pop was buying her for her to have for Christmas. In other words, hands off! One day, during her routine visit, she noticed that Chuckles was gone! She was heartbroken, thinking that a competitor would be receiving her beloved baby doll. Saddened beyond consoling, Mom awoke on Christmas morning with a heavy heart, only to be overjoyed by the sight of Chuckles waiting for her under the tree! Seems that my grandpa had secretly purchased the prize and hid her in the house. Today, she wears a dress, socks and bonnet that belonged to my oldest daughter, as the fabric of her original outfit finally wore out, but she herself is in remarkable condition. Her eyes even still open and close and there is very little crazing to her plaster or chalk ware (I'm not sure what she's made of) body.

Chuckles

Chuckles and antique cradle

Next, we have Farina. I don't know all of her history, but she too was a doll Mom fell in love with and was lucky enough to receive. Even spending a few dollars for a doll during The Depression was a big deal, so she took extra good care of hers. Farina has three little braids on her head and is wearing her original clothing, except for her undies. She had rubber bloomers imprinted with "So What?" on the backside. Maybe this was to discourage young boys from making fun of her "unmentionables", I have no idea. I just always thought it humorous. Farina's arms and legs move via large internal springs that creak when manipulated. She is quite unusual and has the sweetest face and an adorable pudgy tummy.

Farina

The last little one, I call Baby. I cannot for the life of me recall his name. I keep thinking it starts with a B, (Buster perhaps?) so I've settled on Baby for now. He is the littlest of the three, about six inches tall and is made of celluloid. His clothing looks very old and hand-made, but I am not sure if it is original to him or not. He has a little dent in his head and a couple of tiny holes, but considering how extremely fragile he is, that's not too bad. All of these wonderful darlings are at least 80 years old. Chuckles is probably more like 87, and are so very precious to me.

Baby

Farina and Baby are currently up on high shelves in my china cabinet, where little doll lovers cannot reach them. Chuckles is peacefully napping in her cradle, as shown. The cradle, by the way, is hand-made and about 100 years old. It too is an heirloom worth preserving.


Mom's Dolls
I am so happy that, during times when modern tastes and trends dominated old and antiquated, Mom loved her dolls enough to keep them. I am also very appreciative of Dad entrusting them to me. When Abigail gets older, I will tell her the story of Chuckles and of Farina's rubber undies and maybe by then I can also tell her what Baby's real name is. I hope that she will cherish them as much as Mom did and as I do.

Thank you for stopping by and reading today. Comments are always welcomed. Have a wonderful and special day! xoxo, Leena

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Leena, I love dolls, too. I have a few old ones including one of my mother's dolls, that she had in a drawer as long as I can remember. I cherish it as it meant a lot to her...wish I had asked more about that one. I'm your newest follower and hope you'll follow my blog soon.
    Happy New Year,
    Helen

    ReplyDelete

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