When I was little girl, I lived with my dad for about six months in Spottsylvania County, Virginia and then we moved to Washington, D.C. In D.C. we lived with my grandparents, uncle and aunt in a quaint little four bedroom house on one of those streets where everyone knows everyone and all the elderly remember when the adults were kids. You wouldn’t believe how many times I heard “When your daddy was a little boy….”
Anyway, one of the memories that I value most about my time in D.C. is my trips to the Washington Dolls’ House & Toy Museum with my aunt, Sissy. The doll museum was owned by the late Mrs. Flora Gill Jacobs who often talked dolls and doll houses with my aunt (an avid collector of antique dolls) and me. To me it felt like we spent every weekend wandering the museum, pointing out old favorites and picking out new ones. I remember the intricately appointed doll houses, some with electricity illuminating teeny books lined up on book shelves eagerly waiting to be read by miniature families… Perhaps that is where my love affair with dolls began or my fascination with all things literary.
Yesterday my aunt sent me a box of my father’s belongings and in the box was an autographed book by Mrs. Jacobs. The book, The Doll House Mystery, was written in 1958 and autographed for me in 2004. The inscription reads:
“For Daenel ~ With very best wishes from Flora Gill Jacobs May, 2004”
When my father died two years ago, I thought that my connection to his side of the family would end but seeing the book and other memorabilia in the box brought back many fond memories of my time in D.C. and I’m glad I had the chance to share my life with my dad and his family, even if only for a brief moment in time.