Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tangerines! The scent of Christmas....

    Tangerines will forever remind me of Christmas. My mother always put one in our  Christmas stocking, just as her mother put a tangerine in her stocking back when she was a little girl in the late 1920's. I imagine the juicy orange fruit was quite a valuable commodity during a cold, bleak winter in upstate New York. And I am told that her mother too, retrieved the sweet round morsel from the toe of her woolen sock when she was  child  at the turn of the century.  I continued the tradition with my own boys when they were young. A tangerine...a sweet simple gift and a nice reminder that  wonderful things can come in small packages without being costly.
              Speaking of small packages and mothers......
    James found this most wonderful doll for me and we drove over 2 hours to pick her up. But as I was admiring her sweet little bisque face and cunning buckle shoes, I thought of someone who would love her just as much.So I packaged her up with the following note:
    Dear Mom, This little dolly wants to live with you. I told her she would be quite content living here with the other dolls, but she insisted, "No I want to live with Jacqueline, in a nice WARM house, where I can watch the snow fall from a wide bay window. Besides, Jacqueline doesn't have any little dollies like me.... I'm special and so is she!"

     She wants you to know that she was born in Germany around1897, she's not quite sure of the date, after all, she is quite old and her memory is not what it used to be. This is her original box and she cost only 50 cents!
"I was NOT cheap! That was a lot of money in those days", she says. Her pink dress is original, but the blue checkered frock was stitched by her first mistress, as well as the lovely crochet collar.

     "She really loved me", dolly remembers fondly. Unfortunately, she does NOT remember her name..... she has been in her little cardboard box for over 60 years, poor dear! Well,we know that you will love her too, and provide her with a lovely NEW name.
                                      Merry Christmas! love, daughter
           As I packaged little dolly carefully  in her box, hopefully for the last time, Virginia, the wooden penny, smiled her tiny smile and waved goodbye, without speaking a word.

          Giselle blew a kiss and whispered "Au revoir, mon ami."

        The Southern Belles say," Leaving us so soon? Well! We would nevah leave the South.... to go live with a Yankee??!"
         And Wilhemina wishes her would-be kindred spirit a safe         journey, "Please, do write often!"
And off goes our dear little dolly, to her new home and mistress.

 UPDATE: Mom received little dolly today and loves her ever so much, I knew she would. Mom is 83 yrs old, you see, we never outgrow our dolls! She has given dolly a charming name, Estelle, named after her stepmother.
Estelle has sent her very best regards to us and says she is enjoying her view of Colorado snow from the window with her new "Yankee" mistress and a nice cup of tea.


  1. Jeri,
    You have stolen my heart with your doll Christmas post!!!! Oh my. I saw you and your lovely art at the Sunflower Farm last week. I love your blog, it is so refreshing. I am a hard working home maker, mother to five beautiful children, wife to a soon to be farmer and I can't wait to order your books!!!
    Blessings from Georgia,

  2. What a lovely post! I cannot get enough of Hopalong Hollow. I have dolls that were my Mother's, precious memories for me. My Mom is sliding away from me now with dementia/Alzheimers but this post reminds me how she loved dolls as a child...I'm off to shop!

  3. Your artwork is enchanting.

    I like seeing your dolls. They are darling. I have one antique doll given to me by my sister-in-law who has an impressive collection (buys and sells). Reading the story about the life of the wooden doll "Hitty - her first hundred years)" was a delight.
    Karen A.


Please do leave a word or two, we SO like to hear from you!