……………..Have you ever done something so out of character that when you think back on it you can’t believe that was you? ……
…..Like running around the toy store with three “Cabbage Patch Dolls” in your arms waiting for your neighbor to come buy one of them cause the store manager said you can only purchase two – but you have three daughters?……
………..Or braiding the hair on all twenty-seven “My Little Ponies” cause your six year old who is sick in bed thinks they would be happier with braids?…..
Oh, I am glad….I thought it was only me that was a little crazy when it came to daughters! Now about the “Sisterhood of the traveling Doll House”……..
It was two weeks before Christmas, the year 1986…..my youngest daughter was asking for a dollhouse for Christmas….everyday she would tell me about this doll house that she saw on TV…I started pouring through all the catalogs and kept showing her photo’s – “no mom that’s not it! this doll house is the biggest and most beautiful one I ever saw!” hmmmm……..
Now I was a mother on a mission…..this is all she was asking for……”So, Kelly where did you see this doll house?” couldn’t remember….I asked her to draw a picture of it……ooooh, wasn’t that in the little shop in Lahaska, PA? YES MOM! that’s where we saw it……
In order to buy this doll house I would have to sell one of my other daughters! but I was determined…..living in New Jersey at the time, I called the Doll house Shoppe and inquired about the dollhouse…It was on back order and cost four hundred dollars! ok….Let’s see what plan B looks like…..
I ventured to tell the saleswoman on the phone my story. She too had daughters and knew exactly what I was up against. She gave me the name of the manufacturer……bless her heart……I found the company somewhere in Western Ohio. After I told my story to the fourth person, I was tired, disappointed and at the time realized I had spent a total of two hours on long-distance calls. (Remember those?) the next morning I got a call from the warehouse manager…..I repeated my story and waiting for him to say “Lady, its now one week before Christmas”….he said well, I have one left in the warehouse…..the sales manager said you can have it at the wholesale price…its yours if you can pick it up……my heart sank….I live eight blocks from the Atlantic Ocean – Ohio?
Think Lois! how can we get that here before Christmas? Well, my husband being in the trucking business had to come into play but how? hmmmmmmm……here’s how it went……..
An eighteen-wheeler left Ohio heading to Chicago carrying a little girl’s very special present. It met up with another 18-wheeler heading to West Virginia, then another going to DC, the house then went from DC to Pittsburgh, then to Erie, PA, from Erie to Syracuse…that truck was now headed to Philadelphia…well its a bit closer for me to go than Ohio I thought….and so I waited to hear from the final destination…..no phone call……my heart sank again, the house had traveled too far not to make it home for Christmas…..
Day before Christmas Eve, a tractor trailer came down my street, the driver, who looked a lot like Santa himself, rang the bell and handed me a box that was bigger than me! He said “Merry Christmas” and I started to cry…..on the box was every persons signature that had something to do with making a Christmas wish come true. From the sales manager and warehouse workers in Ohio to all the truckers that picked it up along the way……and the last truck that took the long route to Philadelphia via a little town in New Jersey, to a house eight blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, where a little nine year old girl wanted only a doll house for Christmas…..
….sigh……that’s not the end of the story……..the doll house was put together by dad and lived in the corner of a little girls room…. but as the story goes, little girls outgrow storybooks and cabbage patch dolls. Dollhouses become a place to store hair scrunches’ and Madonna gloves…so finally the house found itself in the far end of the attic…replaced by a stereo and a tv….
move forward seventeen years…to Moving Day….
As we finally get the last piece of furniture out of the house eight blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, my husband said he should check the attic one more time…..there all the way in the back was the doll house. After an hour and expressions I didn’t think he had in him, we (HE) finally got it and all its pieces out of the attic – now what? My husband said its time to say goodbye – the house was broken and in terrible shape. Nope, its not going to end up in the trash. My older daughter, Stacy, scooped it up and brought it to her house and placed it and all its pieces in her attic until we got settled in PA and then we would attempt to put her back to her original glory….
that was thirteen years ago……
My daughter sold her house and as she was going through it for the last time she remembered the doll house up in the attic! The house had a harder time coming down from her forgotten space, but made it to PA in more pieces than I care to admit to….
that was eight years ago…..
While cleaning out the garage attic…. finally…..I found an old Christmas tree box that was torn and weathered, with bungee cords holding it together….I opened it and screamed…..it was Her! The grand Lady of all doll houses!…well most of her…..
Down she came, box and all, with a promise from me that I will put her back together and give her a crowning spot in the living room…I was speechless when I took a good look at the broken front porch and the pillars that held it up….it looked just like my home that we built here in PA ….I guess my daughter and I shared the same dream doll house…..
There she was in pieces, a few strings of lace from an old Madonna skirt, a scrunchy hiding in the broken stairwell and a worn, purple
“My Little Pony” that must have escaped its corral back in 1986, lying face down in the parlor…..but that’s ok…..cause one day Kelly’s daughter, Nikki, now six will probably remember this great lady’s story and never let her go back in the attic!
I made a promise that day, in the garage, to restore the house……
between blogging, quilting, baking, sewing, taking care of my own “Tara” and my soon to be herb garden….and a little help from “the Divine Ms. B”…….
I will keep my promise…..
That was yesterday…….