Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Dolly

Today is a milestone day in my life, and I'd like to introduce you to my little friend who has stood beside me the whole way.

This is Dolly.  My very first doll.  My Gramma H designed her and sewed her just for me, her first granddaughter.  My Gramma H still lives now through my Dolly.  I can feel her and see her cutting the fabric, sewing it on her treadle sewing machine.  She braided her hair with brown yarn, and each braid is tied in red ribbon.  I had long dark brown hair when I was little.  Gramma's hands embroidered Dolly's eyes, nose, and mouth with needle and colored thread.  Somewhere in the stash of childhood photos, there's one of me holding Dolly beside me, and we were both the same size.

Gramma didn't use patterns when she sewed, according to what Mom told me.  She could look at a dress and reproduce it.   It tickles me how she put ruffles on Dolly's sleeves and at the bottom.  Having Dolly all these years has been my secret way of still having Gramma with me. Gramma died when I was 12, but in those years she influenced me more than anyone else ever has.  I think I got my knack for reusing things from her.

Dolly's hair cap is ever so special to me.  Not only did Gramma make it, but my Mom wore it when she was a baby.  That really compounds the sentimental value of Dolly.

 Most little girls of today would look at my little friend and snub her.  Dolls are fancy and expensive, but they can't hold a candle to this one.  My Gramma's touch lives in Dolly.  My Gramma's artistic and frugal tendencies continue to show me that less can be so much more.  The dress Dolly wears is more than likely made out of a feed sack.  Feed sacks back then were colored and printed in flowers and other calico patterns. 

There's a table that sits by my side of the bed, and that's where Dolly lives.  This table belonged to my Gramma, too, so our bedroom brings back cozy memories of staying at her house and the childhood comfort I felt there.  Between Gramma and Grampa, their simple country existence showed me how to live so that I appreciate every single thing that comes to me. 

I have a little story to tell about Gramma and her sewing.  You see, she made all my clothes until I was 8, and then I got a real store-bought dress.  Anyway, Gramma was sewing something on her treadle machine, and she accidentally sewed through a finger nail and into her finger.  Poor lady, we knew she was in awful pain, but it was her style to bear all discomfort in silence. 

So, now you know who my little life companion has been.  Dolly and I have come a long way, been through a lot.  But, all things are manageable when a person has Gramma's hand to hold onto.