Sunday, May 09, 2010

my dollhouse

We brought my dollhouse home today. As I discovered all the tiny contents, a flood of memories of my quirky and very whimsical childhood came rushing back. My grandfather Ed (my dad's father) built this beautiful wooden dollhouse for me. And one Christmas, my brother Daniel spent hours gluing the wooden shingles to the roof. Some of the furniture was beautiful...but lots of the 'accessories' were my own creations...made out of paper and scotch tape, plastic pizza box stands, scraps of fabric, old candle holders, legos, broken tiles.
I trashed some of the really gross things... but I just had to set it all up..just right. It needed to be photographed this way before I tear it apart and clean all those layers of dust and spider webs.
That photo is of my friend, Arianne Strattan (now a Ford model) on the wall in that frame (made out of toothpicks). I remember thinking that she looked just like my dollhouse family's little girl (with blue eyes, long blond hair, and a pink dress).I can't believe how much time I spent meticulously making things for my little family. Apparently, I thought it very important that every member of the family should have their own tiny Bible. (I even gave one of them gold pages?!?) A custom violin case (made out of scotch tape and black construction paper),......a re-purposed spool of thread covered with a fabric scrap became an end table to hold my oil lamp. I made a miniature pink stenciled bedside table out of one of those round plastic stands that used to be (still are?) in pizza boxes for the little girl's room. A pink towel became carpet, strands of lace and paper scraps fill the windows. I spent hours decorating and redecorating... using anything I could find. I sewed tiny clothes for my people, pillows and blankets for their beds. I knew that I loved to make things as a child. But until I saw this stash...I had no idea.

I like remembering. I've been remembering a lot lately. In the past week, I've even thought of a few stories to tell Ryan that he's never heard! For some reason, the past has been more attainable in my memory files these days. And it makes me feel richer.

Now that they are awake from their naps (the doll house was sitting on the kitchen table when Maya and Sophie woke up), I can hardly keep the girls away from it. (I really want to clean it first!) I wish they knew their Great Grandpa who built such a delightful and sturdy dollhouse for his little granddaughter. I wish they could sit in his lap and laugh while he pretended to be confused about which were hands and which were feet. I wish they knew his quiet humor and his big twinkling brown eyes. And I wish I could thank him again for this gift that he is now giving to my children.

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