Baby Doll

I had this baby doll.  I use the past tense because I’ve already passed her down to my niece.

Nana loved to give dolls to her granddaughters.  On birthdays and Christmas, it was never a surprise to open the box to find a sweet new baby to care for.  And I was a girly-girl, always playing with my dolls.

I was spending the day with Nana once, and she was clearing out closets for a garage sale.  I was helping her pull things out of boxes from the dark recesses of a middle bedroom, and we came across the treasure… this beautiful old doll, cloth body, with the arms, legs, and wonderful face of papier mache… all cracked with age, and hauntingly beautiful.  I was still a child, but I was in awe.

She couldn’t believe I wanted that doll.  She told me she’d get me a new one.  I insisted that I loved that doll.  And so I got the doll that day… and the story.

When my grandmother was a little girl she received a penny a day for milking the cow.  She saved those pennies back in the 1920s, and when she had enough, she got to order that doll from the mail order catalog. I love to imagine the day it arrived!

And now my niece has little girls of her own.  They’re not old enough yet, but one day they’ll hear the story of their great-great-grandmother buying the doll.    One of the babies is named for her, and I hope Olivia will someday cherish this real life scene of a little girl in a little house on a huge prairie in New Mexico.

Thinking of my Nana, Ola Oleva, born on this date in 1915.  She painted this little portrait of me in 1966.


10 Responses to “Baby Doll”

  1. Cheryl says:

    This gives me chills. Such a sweet story and what wonderful memories to pass down to a new generation.

  2. Marcea Clive says:

    Sandy, those old dolls were the best. Neat story and glad someone has it to enjoy and protect it. Love the little portrait. I always thought your “Nana” was a neat lady. She would come to Arch, NM to have her Stanley Parties and I think my Mom was one of her best customers. Good memories.

  3. Bette says:

    Love the portrait and the story!

  4. KIm Mann says:

    And Happy Birthday to Nana today!! We will have a party later to celebrate 🙂

  5. Marietta says:

    Your grandmother was a doll and I loved her very much!
    Happy Birthday!

  6. Sharon says:

    Happy birthday to your Nana

  7. Donna McBroom says:

    I love this story! It brought tears to my eyes thinking about her waiting for that doll to arrive! I love the portrait she painted too! Thanks for sharing!

  8. M Sue says:

    Another wonderful memory, Sandy! Thank you for sharing.
    It reminded me of a similar story my mother told. She wrote a few tales of her life, but I don’t think that one made it into print.
    Sending smiles,
    M. Sur

  9. Betty Williamson says:

    This story would be good even if you still had the doll, but it is even more poignant since you have passed the doll on to a new generation. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Lawanda Calton says:

    It was wonderful to see the doll again this past weekend. My eyes are filled with tears of love remembering the whole weekend experience!

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