Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2001, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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Playhouse Memories

    The article in "Over The Ozarks" by Annabelle Whobrey telling about her playhouse when she was a girl brought back many memories of the time I was a little girl and had a playhouse.
    Little girls today do not have them like we used to. I'll never forget the time my father built me one, using rocks and building them up like a wall. He made two rooms and I felt like a queen in her castle! I had broken dishes for my kitchen and a little cupboard made of shingles. Father made me a little table with legs and my pots and pans were various sized tin cans.
    I, too, had imaginary people who came to visit. I would talk to them (and for them) while we had our tea.
    I live not far from my old home place. I go there sometimes and just sit, remembering. I look for the places where I had my playhouse. Sometimes I find pieces of the broken dishes I had.
    My dear cousin and I grew up together and had many happy times playing in the playhouse with our dolls and sewing for them. We would meet at our grandmother's house and always had our dolls with us. In the summer we liked to make hats of hollyhock leaves. We used thorn needles or sticks to put them together. Then we would add pretty garden flowers and "dress up" in our mothers' dresses and pretend we were real ladies.
    My cousin kept her dolls but I gave mine to a sister. We had china dolls, rag dolls and wax ones. I have collected dolls over the years and now have quite a collection.
    Once upon a time, when I was about six years old, I buried a china head doll on our lawn. It would be a thrill for me to find the place and dig it up now. I'm sure I would find the head, arms and legs ... if I could just remember the exact burial spot!
    I also wish I had my little store-bought dishes. I usually got a set at Christmastime. I loved those dishes so much and set many a table for my dolls' tea parties with them.
    I visit the old home place sometimes and it tugs at my heartstrings to see familiar places. I gaze upon the trees my father planted. They are large now. It makes me feel ancient sometimes by remembering when we children got unruly, mama would make us go out and "hug the tree." It was so humiliating when people went past.
    Sometimes mama made us crawl under the bed until we would promise to be good and mind her. We never talked back to our parents. They were good Christians and took us to Sunday School and church. Father always returned thanks at the table. To this day it doesn't seem right to eat until the blessing is said.
    Oh, if the young people of today who rebel and do not obey their parents could have the love and discipline of our day, how different some would be! I think parents lose so much when they don't take loving interest in their children. We have many young people who love the things that are good and decent but we have many who don't.
    Parents should keep in mind they are building their children's memories of their childhood ... and, in the near future, when they speak of their childhood, what will they remember?

Mellie Smith
July 24, 1971

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