When I was in the 8 to 11-year-old range I wanted a dollhouse in the worst way. So much so that I would get on my bicycle and pedal up to the dollhouse store that was up on Edmonds way - the one that almost outlasted time and...modernity.
I would collect whatever coins and money I could find laying around the house hoping to purchase something little - miniature - to keep for a future dollhouse that I dreamed about owning. Sometimes I would only have enough money to buy miniature food, a pot for cooking, or a newspaper. All real life-looking miniatures that I would tuck them away for future.
When I was feeling very creative I would wrap little blocks of wood with paper to make it look like presents were under my miniature Christmas tree or create books, coloring each page, or take shoe boxes and turn them into rooms, decorating the walls with craft paper to create my own dolly house and use my random assortment of miniatures.
The beautiful miniature dollhouse I wanted in the window of this store was way out of my price range by several hundred dollars, completely finished ready to play. It was adorable. I would stare at it - wishing and dreaming...
Our neighbor, Bob, was a builder. He called me Beaver..probably back then I very much looked like a tomboy and I reminded him of Leave it to Beaver - that's my guess. Maybe my family will know why he called me that.
Anyway, Bob would let me come over to his wood shop in his garage. I would tell him about the dollhouse I dreamed about owning but could not afford it.
Bob came up with a design and built me a beautiful, larger than-life-dollhouse - a mansion. It took him a long time to build this house for me but he did it.
Time has marched on and I had grown up. My paper route that I had is how I paid off my doll house. I remember him letting me make payments. I can't remember how much I paid but I know it felt like a huge amount.
I never did have the money to finish the dollhouse that Bob built for me. I tucked away my doll house treasures and carried that big, unfinished wood structure from the time we got married until the time we moved into our current home, where I sold it at a garage sale.
I found little plastic furniture for this dollhouse I picked up at a thrift store last month. It did not take Marina long to figure out what to do with the furniture. I quietly watched from afar at her moving the furniture from room to room, giving the people hugs and rocking them, before she moved them to another room in this house.
It was the most precious thing I think I've seen all year. Being a mother to six sons, it has been an entirely experience seeing our three dollies grow up before our eyes - the precious, tender side of a one-year-old girl is also a beautiful thing.
40 years later I get to play miniatures and a dollhouse with our grand dollies.