Thursday, September 23, 2010

Maggie's Memos: Shocking News-Part Two

Maggie here.  Tess wanted me to finish the story because she's too distraught about everything that's been going on.  And yes, she did actually use the word "distraught".  That's what you get for being a 12 year old that reads too many Jane Austen books.  She's a little crazy.  I wouldn't change her for anything, though.  ;)

So shortly after Tess left off, Mama came in and found all of us in various stages of panic.  Hailey was still sobbing buckets, Lucy was almost hyperventilating, Tess was standing there in a stupor, Emily and Ella were clinging to each other, and Danielle was spending all her energy trying not to look guilty.  I thought I was being pretty level-headed about everything, at least on the outside.  I have to admit, though, there was a lump the size of a dinner roll in my throat.  If Mama could make such a drastic decision about one of us, what would keep her from someday deciding the same thing about me, or Tess, or any of the others? 

"I'm sorry, Mama," Danielle finally broke the awkward silence.  "I accidentally told them about Christmas."

Mama's eyes lit up with understanding.  "Ah, so that explains it," she said slowly.  She looked around at all of us, concern etched in her features (okay, so maybe Tess isn't the only one who uses flowery words, but wow!  What a sentence...if I do say so myself!). :)

"I'm sorry you all had to find out so soon," she began sympathetically.  "I didn't want you to go through...well, all of this!"  She put a hand on Tess's shoulder.  "I want you all to know that this doesn't mean that I like Danielle any less.  I just think she'd be a great fit for my niece.  I want her to have a Christmas she'll never forget.  If I'd given her Madison, she would never forget this Christmas for all the wrong reasons.  Madison would have made her miserable!" 

She paused a moment before continuing.  "I made sure Danielle was comfortable with my idea before I sold Madison.  Danielle was very willing to be a Christmas doll.  I think she and my niece will be great friends."  Mama looked down at her hands.  "I feel bad for the rest of you, stuck here in this room when you could have a little girl to play with you every day."

"That's not what we want!" I shot out fiercely, almost before I'd realized it.

Mama looked up at me in surprise.

"Sorry to interrupt," I said, rather embarrassed, "but some of us came from homes with little girls.  They're not always all they're cracked up to be."  With a shudder, I remembered my days before Mama's discovery of me at Salvation Army.  "You may not play with us, but you take care of us and you gave us this great room to stay in."

"We just want to stay together," Tess pleaded.  "And...we're worried you might decide to sell all of us one day."

"I doubt it will come to that," Mama smiled reassuringly.

"What about Rose?" Emily whispered worriedly.  "You're getting rid of her because you can't fix her loose limbs.  Does that mean you want to get rid of me, too?"

"Not at all!" Mama said quickly.  "I can fix your legs...when I'm brave enough.  I have no clue how to re-string all-vinyl dolls.  Rose needs to go to someone who can fix her up properly."  Mama shook her head as she looked over at Rose, still standing across the room.  "She gets the most horrible headaches because her neck bands are so loose.  That's why she doesn't come over and join you girls.  She's pretty much an invalid."

I saw Tess shoot Hailey a disapproving glance, as only an older sister can.  Hailey blushed through her dissolving tears and looked at her toes.  I knew Tess was remembering Hailey's earlier comment about Rose never doing anything with us. 

Lucy was still clinging to Tess's middle.  "Lucy was afraid that this meant that Katie wouldn't be coming back," Tess offered shyly.

Mama picked Lucy up and gave her a hug.  "Your sister is coming back, sweetie.  Right now, she's having lots of fun, but I know she'll be so excited to come home again and see all of you.  Especially her little sister."  Lucy nodded, calming down intantly in Mama's arms.

Mama put her back on the dresser.  "Listen, I've got to go get my oldest from school.  You girls just try to relax, okay?  And remember, Danielle will be with us for another 2 months.  So just enjoy this time with her and try not to panic.  No one else is being sold or given away."  She winked at us.  "I'll see you girls in a while, all right?"

We all nodded and settled down for a quiet afternoon.  I knew it would take more than a reassuring conversation with Mama to keep us from thinking about our big shake-up today, though.  And I couldn't shake the nagging question, What next?

Tess's Tidbits: Shocking News-Part One

It all started a few minutes after Mama had rearranged our room.  She had put the last finishing touches on it and was letting us try it out while she went to check on her daughters.  I was with Maggie, helping my cousin Lucy to get situated in our vanity chair, trying to distract her from the fact that she missed her big sister so much. 

Suddenly, I heard a wail from the other side of the room.  Startled, I turned to see what was going on.  Maggie turned as well.  There was Hailey, staring at her best friend Danielle, tears streaming down her cheeks.

"Tell me you're joking!" she pleaded.

Danielle looked at her sadly.  "I'm sorry, Hailey, it just seemed like the right thing to do."

By this time, Maggie and I had made our way over to where Hailey and Danielle were standing.  Ella and Emily were there, too, worried by Hailey's cries.

"What's wrong, Hailey?" I asked.  "What happened?"

Hailey just shook her head, trying desperately to stop crying.  Danielle looked over at me uncomfortably.

"I just told her something that was supposed to be a secret for a couple of just slipped out!"

"What did you tell her?" Maggie asked immediately, her voice almost accusatory.

Danielle sighed.  "A couple of weeks ago, Mama talked to me about something she wanted me to do, if I was okay with it."

We waited as Danielle paused, probably trying to decide where to begin.  Maggie tapped her foot impatiently.  I put a hand on her arm, and she stopped.

Danielle flipped one braid over her shoulder and continued.  "You know how Mama is giving her daughters and their cousins dolls for Christmas?"

I nodded along with everyone else.  We'd all known that was the plan.  In fact, we'd made frequent visits to the bottom drawer where the Christmas dolls lay waiting.  Whenever the house was empty, we'd open the drawer and let them get out and stretch their legs and arms.  There were 5 dolls in there:  an American Girl Josefina who was shy and sweet, an American Girl Felicity who loved to make new friends, a Gotz Elisabeth doll with glasses who liked to go by Lizzy, a soft spoken and sensible Gotz Lily doll, and a Gotz Madison doll who was...well...rather difficult to get along with.  While the others all expressed how thankful they were to be out of the drawer, Madison would just complain that we waited so long.  She had a strong opinion about everything and never seemed to be satisfied with anything we did.  She even made Josefina cry once!

"...been having second thoughts that she was the best doll for her niece," Danielle was saying.  I realized that my wandering thoughts had made me miss part of the conversation.

"Who?" I asked timidly.

Danielle turned to me.  "I was talking about Madison.  Mama doesn't think she'd make a good playmate for her niece, since she's so stubborn and unkind."

I glanced nervously in the direction of the dresser where the dolls were.  Could Madison hear Danielle?

"Don't worry," Danielle said softly.  "She's not there anymore."

I blinked.  "She's not?  What happened to her?"

"Mama sold her on eBay 2 days ago.  She was hoping that Madison could be happier somewhere else."

"But now her niece won't have a Christmas doll!" Ella interjected in a worried voice.

Then it hit us...that's why Hailey was so upset!  Danielle was going to be Mama's niece's Christmas doll.

"Why you?" Maggie asked hoarsely.  I looked over at my best friend, and she looked back at me.  I knew we were thinking the same thing:  Could this happen to me, too?

Danielle looked thoughtful.  "She thought my personality would be a good match for her.  Mama's not sure if she can find another doll for the right price between now and Christmas.  And she didn't want to split up the sisters.  Maggie, you're busy helping Tess with the blog, and Emily's leg limbs are too loose for a little girl.  Mama told me she's too nervous to fix Emily's legs for now.  Katie's busy traveling, and Lucy's too little.  That leaves me."

"What about Rose?" Hailey asked through her tears.  "She never does anything with us.  Maybe she would work!"

Embarrassed by my little sister's lack of tactfulness, I peeked across the room to where Rose stood, a mournful expression on her face.

Danielle looked down at her toes.  "Rose is listed on eBay right now.  The auction ends on Saturday."

I was horrified.  "Whatever for?  Why is Mama doing this?"

"Mama told me that Rose has some joint problems that she just can't fix.  She's hoping that whoever buys Rose will be able to give her back her health.  And because she's so loose in her arms, legs and head, she also wouldn't be a good Christmas doll for Mama's niece."

We all stood in silence for a while, except for Hailey, who was still sniffling.  Ella sat back in her chair and leaned her head on Emily's shoulder.  I felt numb with shock.  I couldn't believe Mama was making these decisions.  Didn't Rose deserve to stay here, even if she had loose limbs?  Couldn't Mama find any other doll for her niece?!  She had 3 whole months before Christmas.  Didn't she realize what this would do to Hailey?  She and Danielle had been inseparable since Danielle started going to the same school and then joined our doll family.  I mean, sure, Hailey was way more outgoing than me and could probably make more friends.  But there was something special about Danielle, and Hailey was always fiercely loyal to her friends.

Danielle broke the silence.  "I wasn't supposed to say anything...Mama didn't want everyone worrying.  But I wasn't thinking and talked about how different things would be when I had a girl of my own...and then, of course, Hailey wouldn't stop until she knew everything."

Hailey looked at her friend with new eyes.  "That's where I've seen that dress before!" she blurted out.

Danielle looked confused.  "What?"

"The dress you're wearing!" Hailey continued.  "You always wear the same thing, but today you're wearing a dress...Madison's dress."

Danielle was obviously uncomfortable.  "Mama wanted to make sure it fit me okay.  This is how I'll look when I go to her niece for Christmas."

Suddenly, Lucy came running up behind me with frantic tears in her eyes.  "Tess, is Katie going to leave us forever, too?  What if I don't see her again?"  She flung her arms around me and started sobbing.

My heart broke for her.  This was most likely another reason Danielle was supposed to wait to tell us.  Mama must have known how it would frighten Lucy.  "Shhh," I soothed.  "Katie's coming back, Lucy.  She's just visiting and then she'll come back."  I tried to calm the what if's that suddenly spun around my brain.  What if Mama decides that one of us needs to go somewhere else?  What if she chooses me or Maggie, or one of my sisters next?  How could I stand it?  I shook my head.  It was no use thinking that way.  I'd only panic myself. 

Hailey suddenly flung her arms around Danielle's neck.  "What am I going to do without you, Danielle?" she sobbed. 

Danielle hugged her.  "You'll be your same, beautiful cheerful self, and find lots of other friends.  And we'll still see each other!  I'll belong to Mama's niece."  She chewed her bottom lip as Hailey wept on her shoulder.  "Look, Hails, I know you don't understand it, but I really think this is the right thing to do, and I want to do the right thing more than anything.  You know how important that is.  I want to make Mama's niece's Christmas really special...they've had a really hard year.  And more than anything, I want God to be pleased with my life.  Please don't make this so hard!"

Hailey pulled away and tried to stop crying.  She took her glasses off, wiped her eyes, and cleaned her glasses off on her skirt.  "I...don't...know...if it" she sniffed.

           Part 2 coming soon!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tess's Tidbits: Our World Traveler

  Hi everyone...feeling a little low, but thought I'd share what's been happening at our house.  My cousin Katie isn't here.  She's always been interested in traveling, and today she's getting her first chance to take a major trip.  Mama's girls have a friend that moved away at the beginning of the year, and they've really been missing her.  Mama hopes to go visit them sometime, but it's too far away and expensive for now.
   This weekend, Mama's girls' friend was here with her family for a wedding.  Katie had the idea that she could travel with them and take some pics of some of the places the girls' friend goes.  That way, the girls can see where she lives while they're waiting to travel there.  Mama thought it was a great idea.

    We all said our goodbyes to Katie, spending our entire morning together.  Lucy was especially worried...this is the first time she's been apart from her big sister.  I promised Katie I'd take good care of her.
    This afternoon, she left to go meet Mama's daughters' friend.  She's only been gone about 5 hours, and I miss her already.  We've always been really close friends as well as cousins.  It's been so nice being able to talk to her any time I want to.  Now she'll be gone until November, when she comes back home.  I don't know how I'm going to be able to wait that long.  I keep trying to tell myself that it will be worth it when she brings back pics and gets to tell us all about her adventures. 
    Then I realized, Katie really wants to be a world traveller.  I guess I should get used to this...if she had her way, she'd do this all the time.  Goodbye, Katie...have a great trip, and come home safe to us!

Katie-all ready for an adventure! :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tess's Tidbits: It's Raining...Finally! :)

    Hi there, all.  Tess here again.  Mama feels bad that I haven't had a chance to post recently with all the other things going on.  Since we got our first rain in months today, Mama decided to take me out for some outdoor pics. 

     I love the rain, especially the first rain after the summer.  There's something so invigorating about the smell of fresh, wet earth.  It was just barely drizzling when we took these pics, but right after we finished, it started pouring.  I was really glad I wasn't still outside.  Just a few minutes later, we lost our power.  Mama's middle daughter started to cry, more because her Blue's Clues DVD turned off than because she was scared.  Thankfully, the power came back on after only a few minutes.

     Hope you enjoy the pics!  It was really nice to get out of my old standby, the purple jumper, and wear some flare-leg jeans (to be perfectly accurate, they were Danielle's flare-leg jeans.  Mama's hoping to get us some more so we don't have to keep stealing clothes from each other).  :)  Mama thought I looked like a 70's girl with my striped turtleneck and flare jeans.  And I ADORE my rainbow striped umbrella!!  It makes me wish for rain just so I can use it.  : P
     Talk to you all later...I'm hoping to post again soon! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Katie's Front Yard Adventure

Hi everyone, it's Katie.  Tess, Hailey and Ella are my cousins, and Tess said she didn't think anybody would mind if I did a post for today.  For those of you who don't know me, I love to take pictures and to travel.  Unfortunately, my travel opportunities are a bit limited.  Someday, I'd love to tour the world.  For now, I have to settle for whatever I can get.  I was so excited when Mama came into the room with her three daughters and told them they could pick one of us to go play outside.  I hoped they would pick me...and they did!!

After Mama got me changed into some outside clothes, we all headed out to the front yard to play.  Dorcas was there with her Girl, and Liesel and her Girl came, too.  Jane had a cold, so her Girl took a little Baby Belle doll out instead. 

We had so much fun together!  Dorcas is a great tree climber, and she showed me all the best places to climb.

I loved being outside.  I took a minute to do nothing more than lay in the grass and soak up the sun.

Dorcas wanted to play tag or hide and seek.  We decided on hide and seek.  Boy, it took me a while to find her! 

Mama had to work on dinner, and it was getting pretty hot, so we all decided to go inside after that.  I hope I get to go outside and play again soon.  Someday, I hope to convince Mama to let me do some traveling of my own.  I want to explore so much more than the front yard.  The more I see of the world, the more I wish I could travel to exciting places and meet new people.  Oh, well.  For now, I'll think back on our fun day in the front yard and my time with Dorcas and Leisel.  :)