Tuesday, January 17, 2017


The dollhouse began as all stories do. Once upon a time. One time a long time ago a little girl like me...is the first line I write on a blank paper. In 1992 divorce was in my near future. I was blessed to have my sisters' little children in my care then, and having never put away my childlike awe, we played and learned from each other as hearty loving equals. I started the build of this dollhouse and finished the construction in 1994: the year the divorce was final, and I had a new home in my mind if not in real estate. In 1996 I was diagnosed with cancer. I needed a haven, respite and safe harbor from the world of disease. The outfitting of my alternate reality commenced in earnest. Most of the accoutrement in the house is art from life. The wreath in the bedroom stairway is a scaled reproduction of one I still own. The bedroom furniture is modeled on my set which is 120 years old in 2017. The Black Mariah stove is constructed to resemble my great-grandmother's, and there is a coffee grinder with real coffee in it. On the fireplace mantel is a miniature of the hand-tooled clock I bought for myself in 1980 which still keeps time and good company on my desk. As the years went by, I gifted the house. Last year was a plate of artisan-made springerle cookies.This year is the 20th anniversary of being cancer free, and I think this is the year to donate the dollhouse. My lovely friend Carol suggested C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. With that goal, I will chronicle the tale of the dollhouse here. Life is stories. Parents and ill children need good stories. And a place, path and passion to imagine.

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