I was a farm kid in NY back in the late 40's and until 1958. Life was simple. We probably didn't have a lot of money, but we were rich in love. My two sisters and I got toys for Christmas and our birthdays. That was pretty much it. The rest of the year, if we had anything new, it was homemade. A cradle for a small doll made out of a Quaker Oats box, large buttons on a string that whirled when we twisted the string and lots of construction paper and glue projects. We were NOT spoiled in any way. But of all of my toys, one was the most special. Meet Mandi….
Mandi was my first doll. My Mother made Mandi out of an old pair of Dad's socks. I imagine money was tight because Mom was very pregnant with my sister when my first birthday arrived. So, with a lot of love, Mom cut, stitched and stuffed a doll for me. I don't remember, of course, but I've been told it was love at first sight!
I still have Mandi. She is almost 60. Somewhere along the way, she lost her eyesight (buttons) and got a few holes, but loved nonetheless. When she was 50, I decided maybe she would like to have a dress. After all, she had been naked for 50 years! So I stitched up a dress for her….
As you can see, the simplest toy can become a treasure! My Mom stitched and stuffed those old black socks - for the love for her child. She embroidered a mouth - added buttons for eyes – for the love for her child. Mom said I carried that doll everywhere and slept with her too. I don't remember that. I don't even remember naming her...she has simply always been Mandi. I don't remember that there was little money for a little farm baby's first birthday... But, I do look at that old doll and see the love of my Mother. Yes – I remember the LOVE.
THIS IS A PICTURE OF LOVE!