Our Playhouse

MOTHER NEVER HAD TOO MUCH difficulty keeping her girls in the yard. A fence surrounded our place to help ensure that we did not stray. When we were not assisting Mother with household chores, we always had our playhouse for fun.
Our father had the playhouse built for his older girls, and as each group grew up, the younger ones inherited this pleasure spot. The playhouse was unusual in our section at that time. It was almost tall enough for an adult to enter, had a gabled roof and was shingled. The only thing missing was a door, and with our constant passing in and out, it wasn't necessary. As I remember, it had a window or two, and we were continually trying to hang curtains.
Doll furniture of all kinds filled the playhouse as the possessions of each older girl were left for the next generation to enjoy. Chairs, an iron cook stove, beds, dishes and a most remarkable rocker-type of wooden cradle afforded us a lot of fun.
We had a lot of dolls. Most little girls during that time were interested in dolls and enjoyed playing with them. Collecting dolls as a hobby was not yet popular. We had dolls of all descriptions - paper dolls, homemade rag dolls and store-bought ones with china and glass heads. During the summer, we had fun with dolls made of stubby ears of corn. These so-called corn dolls were really undeveloped ears of corn that we pulled from cornstalks in Mother's garden. They couldn't be eaten, so she didn't mind if we used them for dolls. The long, thick strands of cornsilks made wonderful hair that we delighted in plaiting and unplaiting over and over. Of course, we didn't have to worry about clothes for this kind of doll but whatever scraps we could glean from Mother's scrap bag were turned into doll clothes for our store-bought dolls. This constant struggle to make doll clothes was good practice for us, and many girls often developed a lasting interest in sewing.
An old sawdust-filled doll with a broken arm and matted hair is in my possession. It is perhaps seventy-five years old and was handed down by some of our female relatives. Though needing repair desperately, she is a precious possession and a happy reminder of childhood days of long ago.

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