Friday, May 20, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane

So, the other day my 3 year old son discovered my old dollhouse in the basement: 

Well, that's actually not completely true.  My husband had taken in down from a high shelf in the basement a while back and put it on the floor one day for our son to play with while he was working out.  The house didn't have any of its accessories with it.  Those were packed away separately.  Until a few days ago, our son was just using some of his Fisher Price Little People to play with it whenever he happened to be down there with one of us.  Our basement isn't really finished, but we do have a carpet on the floor and our exercise equipment.  He is typically only down there when one of us wants to exercise and keep an eye on him at the same time.  Our 2 year old daughter is rarely down there, as she isn't quite old enough to keep herself out of trouble yet.

So, the other day while I was exercising, my son came over to me and wanted me to come over to the dollhouse and see what he had done.  I looked inside and saw that he had set up some Little People and a Little People desk in one of the rooms.  He seemed really proud of what he had done.  It then occurred to me that maybe he was old enough now to play with some of the furniture and accessories that go with the dollhouse.  I quickly found the box and opened it up.

All I can say is opening that box was a trip down Memory Lane for me!  I just could not believe all the items I had carefully packed away some 18 years ago and not seen since!  What fascinates me the most are all the items that I made myself.  Most of these are, unbelievably, still in good shape.  I found pieces of homemade "food" like a cherry pie and fruit made out of Play-doh which I had painted.  Some acorn tops that I had used for cereal bowls were still in there as were clothes, bedding, and curtains that I had sewn myself.  There were dozens and dozens of miniature items.  Each of them holding some kind of memory for me.

With each item I unpacked, a different memory came flooding back to me.  I spent countless hours playing with this dollhouse.  Long after my peers had left their dolls and dollhouses behind, I was still playing with mine -- still had it set up in my room well into middle school and I think even into high school.  It was a whole different world of imagination and a place where I could be in control.

The dollhouse was a gift on my 5th birthday (or Christmas, I can't remember because my birthday is the week before Christmas) from both of my grandmothers.  I know now that it must have been expensive at the time (this was back around 1976) for it to have been from both of them.  What a wonderful and lasting gift it has been.  As with most of my toys, I took extremely good care of it, so it doesn't surprise me that it is still in good enough shape for my children to play with.

It is, however, 35 years old so, of course, it does show its age to some extent.  Glues have dried out.  Tape has yellowed and become extremely sticky.  And the decor....well, let's just say it's VERY 70's in style.  I have yet to check whether or not the electrical components are still functioning, as the entire dollhouse used to be alighted with miniature chandeliers, floor lamps, and other lighted accessories.  After 35 years, these components appear to be in a pretty fragile state.  One of these days, though, I'm going to plug it all in -- just to satisfy my curiosity.  Who knows?  Maybe it DOES still work.  Maybe the miniature television, fireplace, fish tank, and dining room chandelier will again light the rooms in my little dollhouse!

If you have any further interest in this dollhouse, here's a link I found to a website devoted to the Lundby dollhouse brand.  These were made in Sweden, and I guess they are still making dollhouses as recently as 2006.

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