The perfect friendship: dolls
“Well, Sarah is going to have surgery tomorrow. Oh Hudson, don’t cry. Mommy is just in the next room! All of you kids listen to me! Alice Ann has been fussy all day, she needs a nap. Minnie loves to eat all her vegetables.” You have just heard some of the words that Lydia shares with her dolls in our home. Seeing a child play and interact with their dolls can be a real bright spot. When Lydia arrived in our home five years ago, so did the dolls. Her very first doll came from her cousin, Tanner. He picked it out himself, and brought it to her personally. Oh, how Lydia took to this baby doll and cared for her. In time, her baby became tenderly known as Hudson, due to the fact that she and Hudson Hager enjoyed together the daycare of Marilyn Sattler.
Jan quickly learned that Lydia was not going anywhere without her doll. We, like all good parents, thought we knew best and tried to trick her into leaving Hudson at home. Not a good plan, I can assure you! Lydia’s family of dolls has come to her by the graces of Rugby folks. Esther and Jay McClintock presented her with a huge and adorable Minnie Mouse. It took until this year for Lydia to actually stand taller than her Minnie doll. For many months, Minnie just sat in Lydia’s room very well behaved and content to be at home. This all changed when Lydia started walking! All of a sudden, this little spew of a girl was carrying around a doll twice her size! One evening Lydia, Jan and Minnie strolled to the Lavik home! Upon arrival, Lydia informed Richard that Minnie would need to rest as she was not feeling well. Witnessing this touched my heart like seeing her skip down our sidewalk with her hair swinging. Currently, Minnie is the guardian of Lydia’s doll house. She sits in her high chair and makes sure things run smoothly in this flat-out fabulous play home!
Alice Ann is a beautiful vintage doll with blinking aqua blue eyes and a perfect rosy complexion. She came from the joint rummage sale of Alice Hersey and Ann Christman. Lydia had chatted with both Alice and Ann at the sale and liked them very much! As our Jeep came to rest in our driveway, she announced from the backseat that this doll would be named Alice Ann!This doll from the ’50s has a real shimmer and is so lifelike. She, too, was bigger than Lydia! In time she and Lydia were wearing the same size clothing! Oh, the relationship she and Lydia had. Alice Ann had her own car seat. Like her other dolls, Alice Ann went everywhere. She never took holidays off; in fact, she loved to travel–even when the car was full! This was partially due to the fact that she had a vast collection of travel knits–you know those softly gathered at the waist!
Being a diplomatic family member, Alice Ann adored shopping at Leever’s. In fact, she went with list in hand. She was never one to pass up chocolate milk or cheese sticks! In the midst of purchasing groceries with Lydia and Alice Ann, I took my two girls out in the shopping cart to the parking lot. Lydia went immediately into her car seat, and in the throws of getting organized, I set Alice Ann on top of the car! A couple of days later, a lady informed me that setting my child on top of the car while loading groceries could get me in trouble! She did, however, remark that Lydia had incredible balance for a baby and that it was nice to see her again in that orange and yellow sundress! The same thing happened while visiting my folks. I set Alice Ann on the patio by herself. My Dad shot out of the house to rescue Lydia!
Did you know that dolls can change names? Well, Hudson over time has become Sarah Starswirl Miranda. She has been to the Heart of America Medical Center for care and when she surpassed 10 band aids, it was necessary to seek the advice of Trinity Hospital. At Trinity, it was discovered not only did she need heart surgery, but eye surgery as well. Both could be done at Rochester-so off they went! Seeing Lydia use her imagination with dolls is a win-win! She is learning lessons for living as she mothers them along. Often we hear her laughing with her dolls and laughter is one of life’s real joys. Her dolls have heard all about thunder, Jesus, and strapless wedding dresses! Hearing her tell stories about these subjects are like a sunbeam coming in the room! As she learns to say kind things, she is learning early on that nobody ever resents them. And above all, she learns to tell her dolls to keep smiling!
This past week Lydia added to her doll family. We attended the fine auction sale of the late Carolyn Schmaltz-Jacobson on Saturday. Carolyn was an avid doll collector. She loved going to rummage sales, and it was at these sales that she gathered many dolls. Often these dolls need revamping and care. Carolyn had a spectacular talent for this. Her nephew, Jim Teigen, shared with me that Carolyn thought of these dolls as her orphans. Often they were ragged, worn, neglected, and hair going in all directions. She took them home and cleaned them up, styled their hair, and with her knack for sewing, fashioned them a new attractive wardrobe.
At the sale were many, many dolls. Somehow Jan missed the box that had this 15-inch doll with her hair swept up, a yellow and orange floral dress with high ruffled collar, and a marigold high-waisted lace trimmed apron complete with matching underpants and black patent shoes full of fun bows! Carlotta Schall bought the box, and as we do at auction sales, we often ask the new owner if we may purchase an item if we missed it. So out of Lydia’s purse came a dollar and into her hands was placed Alexis Anna Carolyn, the newest member of her doll family. How fitting that this doll has passed from Carolyn’s caring hands to Lydia’s loving hands. This is synchronization at its best when girls of all ages still enjoy getting all dolled up!
One cannot have a doll tea party without cookies and often without parents. So when we are invited for tea, we often enjoy these delicious carrot cookies. Jan has made these for many years, and they taste like orange, which comes from the frosting. Hidden inside are carrots the exact color of the flowers on Alexis Anna Carolyn’s gem of a dress. Once you have frosted them, it is best to let them rest overnight before storing them between wax paper.
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