Rag Dolls and Purple Coaches: A Memoir part 6

This continues yesterday’s writings by my mother and
her tales of growing up.  To see other parts of the series link
to Rag Dolls and Purple Coaches: A Memoir part 4.

My sister Kathryn got married and lived at Friend’s Lake.
Sometimes I went to visit her a few days.  Then I played with Edna,
her little sister-in-law who was a year older than I.  We had a
playhouse by a brook.  Lots of old pots and pans and old china.
We had a real iron cook stove, too.

One day we decided to move our house to the other side of the
brook.  It took us all day.  That stove was heavy to drag over the
rocks and through the water.

Mom, Edna and baby Mary ©booksandbuttons

Mom, Edna and baby Mary ©booksandbuttons

Edna was pretty good to play with–better than Mary who was just
a baby yet.  But Edna was sneaky, too.  She always searched their
house and found her Christmas presents her mother was hiding.  I thought that was too bad.



After a while Kathryn had a little girl named Marjorie and John and
Mollie had one named Eileen.  Eileen had long blond hair which Molly
curled by combing sugared water into it.

Then I had more playmates as they got older.

left to right: Mary, Mom, Marjorie, Eileen ©booksandbuttons

left to right: Mary, Mom,
Marjorie, Eileen ©booksandbuttons








I always sewed a lot of doll clothes.  I remember one day Mary and I
went to the attic to find materials for doll clothes.  We found some nice
grey furry material and had just started to cut it up when our mother
came up.  She was quite upset about it.  She had been saving that cloth
to make winter coats for us.  Later she made them anyway.  Mary’s
had a little shoulder cape on it but mine did not.  I think my shoulder
cape was on my doll.

I had a tiny black iron cook stove with a real poker and lifter on it to
open the fire-box with.  I could burn tiny sticks in it, too, if my mother
was right there.

One day when my father came home from a trip to town he brought me
a little doll’s dresser.  It had three drawers and a little round mirror.  It
was very good when I made doll’s clothes.  I could hold the dolls up to
the mirror so they could see how they looked in the new dresses.

That was the year that Dennis began to lose his front teeth.  Now the
way my mother did with loose teeth was to tie a thread around it and
yank hard on the string and the tooth would come out quickly.  Dennis
didn’t want any part of that plan.  He had heard of a better way.  He
would tie the string around his tooth, tie the other end to a door knob
and wait.  When someone opened the door from the other side out would
come the tooth.  That way Dennis would not know when it was going to
happen which was what he dreaded the most.

I was sewing doll’s clothes this day in the spare room.   So Dennis came
in there with me.  He tied a string to his tooth and the door knob, shut
the door and waited.  I kept on sewing and he kept on waiting.  It seemed
like hours had gone by and Dennis was getting hungry.  We heard our
father come in from work and talking in the kitchen.

Dennis decided he would open the door a bit to see if he could find out
if supper was ready.  Just as he was about to open the door our mother
opened it from the other side to call us to eat.  Out came the tooth!
Out of Dennis came a big howl and he dashed for where I was and to
the mirror in my doll’s dresser to see if he was bleeding and so forth.

Well, he knelt on my little pin cushion and got a needle stuck in his knee.
It was a bad day!  After that he decided to just let his teeth fall out.

to be continued . . .

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2 Responses to Rag Dolls and Purple Coaches: A Memoir part 6

  1. Mary Jo says:

    Poor Dennis! What a day. Love reading this memoir and seeing the photos also.

    • booksandbuttons says:

      Hi Mary Jo—thanks. I think my mother was closest to Dennis
      of all her siblings. We often heard stories about Dennis . . .

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