A Doll’s Life

Daily Post: Imaginary FriendMany of us had imaginary friends as young children. If your imaginary friend grew up alongside you, what would his/her/its life be like today? (Didn’t have one? write about a non-imaginary friend you haven’t seen since childhood.)

My imaginary friend was not invisible, she was physically manifested in my Barbie doll.

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©Mattell’s Barbie Doll

Barbie was my best friend. I would hide in a corner and play-out many happy occasions as Barbie. And of course, there had to be make-believe drama events that Barbie would resolve because she was smart, pretty, a good big sister to Skipper, a helpful friend to Midge, the perfect girlfriend and eventual wife to Ken.

She even became a mother! Really. There was a snap-on attachment to her body which gave the illusion of a pregnant woman, inside the snap-on was a tiny baby so that little girls could complete the story and Barbie would have a “real” baby to mother. Of course, there were accessories. The whole pregnancy idea was a brilliant, money-making gimmick. And in those days, girls played “house” not astronaut or doctor.

For some reason though, I cannot find any photos nor reference to Barbie’s belly-baby back in the 60’s. I see references to Midge being pregnant in the 90’s, but, nowhere can I find the snap-on belly and baby that was in the 60’s. Someone on Ebay had one for sale, but the photo was removed since it was already sold. My Barbie and friends have been gone for many, many years and I have no photographs of my collection, otherwise I could snap a photograph and show you her snap-on baby-belly.

I cherished my Barbie doll, she helped me through much unhappiness. She and Ken would dress up and go out to eat and then dancing and kiss. They loved each other very much. It always made me feel happy when Barbie and Ken did something happy.

Eventually, the time came to put Barbie and her friends away, in my closet. I was growing up. A few years later, I dug my Barbie, her friends and all of their paraphernalia out of the closet to give to my older sister for her daughter. In a way, I kind of wish I had kept one of the dolls, just because there was so much “energy” embedded in those play toys – tears, dreams-come-true and hopeful scenarios. Barbie helped me through my childhood.

What would Barbie be doing today? My Barbie? My Barbie would be a retired electrical engineer, living in Alaska with Dr. Ken, he became a brain surgeon. Their four sons would live only a day’s drive away in any direction, convenient for Ken and Barbie to visit with their children and grandchildren.

Barbie would be in the Autumn of her life and be very, very, very happy.

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Cee’s B& W Challenge: Reflections and Shadows

Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Reflections and Shadows

The original photograph or print is of a map which my Grandmother brought with her when she was seventeen and left her home country, Poland, for the promise of a new life in America. My ancestors were so poor, they could only afford passage on a steerage (animal/cattle) ship.

Grandma had very little possessions but brought with her a map of the village where she lived. When she was older, one of my uncles had it framed and it has hung in their kitchen ever since.

This is a photograph of that map, still hanging on the wall, in the kitchen, in the house where Grandma and Grandpa lived and died. My uncle is still alive and is the keeper of the map and the memories it holds.

The reflection is of the light above the kitchen table. I think it looks like a U.F.O.!

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© Swoosieque

CeesBnWChallengeBadge
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My Hat Trick, er, uh, Walk-off

Daily Post: Grand SlamThe World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)

This is easy, although I would rather have the analogy of a hockey shoot out, it doesn’t really make any difference, the end of the game is the same – winner!

My walk-off moment occurred last year after receiving the pathology and further testing reports for the type and stage of my breast cancer.

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© Chris Turner

After the diagnosis was confirmed, the really scary part of being told you have breast cancer begins – how bad is it? The thought of how much time do I have left is ever-present but never spoken, not to anyone because they are just as scared as you are – your children, your spouse, I even think my dogs knew that something was wrong.

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© Swoosieque

When the waiting was over, the tests processed and reported, I bravely met with my Oncologist who informed me with a smile that she never has the opportunity to tell cancer patients good news, but in my case, I scored a “HAT TRICK” (for those averse to hockey it is a term meaning three scores by one player in the game.) She told me, “Your stars are aligned like I have never seen in all my years of practice! You have lucky stars!

All of my pathology tests came back to indicate that the cancer I had was not an aggressive cancer. Estrogen Receptor = 95% favorable, KI67 MIB-1 = 2% Borderline, DNA INDEX = 1.00 Diploid, HER-2 NEU (FISH) = NOT AMPLIFIED. This meant that I would not need radiation nor chemotherapy! I did choose bilateral mastectomy to keep my lucky streak going and I would take a hormone blocker for the next five years. Visits with my Oncologist would be bi-annual.

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© Google Search

Wouldn’t you call that a HOME RUN or a GRAND SLAM or a WALK-OUT, er, um, WALK-OFF?

Or, as Charlie Sheen might once have said, “WINNING!”

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“Kids don’t die!”

Daily Post: Finite CreaturesAt what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

Oh my GOD! Word Press picked my suggestion for today’s prompt. Gulp! At the time I suggested it, I had been reminiscing about some bleak circumstances in my childhood and realized that I had never known of any children dying in any manner – illness, accident, murder…

I remember having terribly painful digestive ailments as a child, so bad that I was often in tears. My mother said it was “growing pains.” I remember telling her that I thought I was dying and she told me, “Kids don’t die, only old people die!”

My stomach and intestines were not relieved with her proclamation although I was relieved to learn that children don’t die. I’m not sure, but I think as I grew older, I began to doubt that children don’t die. I had no proof though, until the night of the fire, August 1967 when the little kids we used to play with ended up dying. They lived in the second story apartment, above where I lived.

I remembered seeing the charred, smoking body of the younger boy I rode bikes with only two days before, being placed upon the webbed lounge chair in the backyard. I suntanned on that very lounge chair a couple days beforehand and now my friend’s burnt body lay upon it.

This was wrong. This was all wrong. “Kids don’t die.” My mother had proclaimed it! She lied to me? She lied to me and I learned that my mortality could be expired at any moment, no matter my age. When Death comes, we don’t have a choice, we go with it.

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© Google Search

So, asking when you learned you were not “immortal” may have been the wrong wording. When I sent my suggestion to WordPress, I didn’t like using the word “immortal” but I thought for certain that if I used the wording, “How old were you when you realized you would die someday,” that would be too morbid. Then I thought that with all the popularity of Vampires and Walking Dead, some persons might carry the prompt in other directions and have fun.

Anyway, these were the thoughts that were on my mind when I suggested the prompt. I wondered if anyone else had been told as a child, that “kids don’t die.”

I wrote more in-depth about that fire in another Daily Prompt – A Fiery Night of Prayers.

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A Child’s Love Story

Daily Post: Fourth Wall – You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

I want to be in a love story, I want my love story to be in a beautiful place, an innocent time in a person’s life. I want to ride the one-horse-sleigh, wearing my heavy winter coat and muffle with a blanket laid upon my lap to warm my legs as Grandfather guides the reigns while the horse trots through the snowy woods.

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© 20th Century Fox
Heidi

I want to help Grandfather, I will sweep the old cabin’s floor and help milk the goats and make cheese. I want one full, happy day in the movie Heidi, as Heidi…

The rooster’s crow was loud and piercing, it awakened me from a deep sleep, within a dream of running and playing with Peter on the mountain. I like my dreams now. Now that I am home again with Grandfather and all that business with Aunt Dete is finished, she cannot take me away anymore, no one can.

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© 20th Century Fox
Heidi

The smell of Wibele starts my mouth watering and I roll over, pulling the covers down, off my head. From the loft, I see Grandfather packing food and cheese at the table, he is humming a tune, it’s a sweet melody, a new one, one I’ve never heard before.

“Good morning Heidi,” Grandfather looks up at me with a twinkle in his eye while I crawl out of bed, “Do you know what day today is?”

“It is Saturday, Grandfather.”

“And what else is it?” He looked at me with daring eyes, as if he expected me to know what, other than Saturday, today might be.

I’m thinking hard, I’m thinking of everyone’s birthdays, Peter’s, blind Grandmother’s, Pastor and Fräulein Schultz, Klara’s, her father’s, even Andrews’ but I could not think of whose birthday might be today.

“Grandfather, I can’t think of whose birthday might be today. Are you sure today is someone’s birthday?”

“Child, who said today was going to be a birthday celebration? I did not.”

“Oh. Well then, what other kind of celebration could it be? I haven’t heard of anyone who is going to be married, so it can’t be a wedding, right?” Grandfather rolled his eyes in a slow, teasing manner at me.

“Oh Grandfather, I just can’t think of anything special that we would celebrate today. Please tell me, please.” Just then I remembered Little Swan and Little Bear, “Oh, I know, I know! It’s Swanly and Bearly’s birthdays!

Grandfather let out a loud gust of laughter and bent down, calling me to his arms. “No child, I am sorry, I have been teasing you. You could not possibly know what is special about today, but now, I will tell you.

“My brother, Johann has become a grandfather! His only son, Theodor has been married many years to Franziska and they have been barren, no children. Now, a miracle has come to the Hofmann family with a healthy baby boy to carry on the family name.”

“A baby boy!” The words came out of my mouth before I realized I was speaking. “What’s his name?”

“Hans. Hans Friedrich Hofmann and you will meet him in a few days and that is what is special about today! We are leaving for Frankfurt where we will take the train to Weissenburg. Johann will meet us there and we will ride in his carriage to his home. You will see many splendid sites and we will be in good company. There will be much laughter and good food.”

“Oh Grandfather! Let’s hurry! Let’s leave now!”

“Child, you are not dressed properly and have not eaten your breakfast. Come, sit now and eat, then we will visit with Peter and his Grandmother, I have made Wibele to give them in thanks for taking care of our home while we are gone.”

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© 20th Century Fox
Heidi

“Oh Grandfather, they smell delicious,” I said as he holds me in his arms, so warm and lovingly, “I just know Peter and Blind Grandmother will love them. And I wish every child in the whole wide world could be as happy and loved as I am this very moment.”

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Keep on Knockin’ But You Can’t Come In

Daily Post: Circuitous Paths - A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.

Are you kidding? Even though I live in a fairly ‘safe’ rural neighborhood, I am an older female and I do not open my door to strangers, especially if I am home alone. If someone rings my doorbell, I go to the hallway and look toward the etagere which stands in the corner of the dining room where reflections of the front porch are clearly projected through the sheer curtained windows.

The dogs are already looking out the front windows, barking, snarling, growling, “Go away!” Further translations include, “We don’t want you here!”

Depending upon the persistence of the stranger, they do finally leave but not until they place a flyer of some sort in the handle of the storm door.

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© Clipart Panda

Call me chicken or paranoid, but, I read and listen to the news, “bad guys” case neighborhoods and I refuse to be a victim.

Sorry Bud, try the next house.

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Grandpa’s Wings

Daily Post: Reverse Shot – What’s your earliest memory involving another person? Recreate the scene — from the other person’s perspective…. I wrote this through a third party’s narrative.

“Zuzka, wave good-bye den come vit me, Grandma hez serprize fer you en keetchen.”

Zuzka was still kneeling upon the couch, watching through the rain-spattered bay window as her parents drove away.

“Do you think she knows what’s going on?” Zuzka’s Uncle Lee asked Grandma Anna.

“Naah, she ez child. She not know death.”

ovaltine2“Come Zuzka! Vee git Ovaltine ind coookeez!” Grandma knew the tempting power of every kid’s sweet tooth and Ovaltine with Salerno Butter Cookies were the perfect lure.

Four year old Zuzka hurried to the kitchen and climbed onto a chair at the table while Grandma warmed milk on the stove for Ovaltine and Uncle Lee poured the last drops of coffee from the morning pot. Taking his first sip, he swore, “Ach, to smakuje jak gówno! Idę do innego garnka.”

“Leesker! Step, she veell heeer yew!”

“She doesn’t understand what I’m saying, don’t you remember, they won’t teach her the old country language?”

“Here, Zuzka, cookeez ind hiit Ovaltine. Be kerfewl!”

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© Give to Grant.org
Even grown-ups play with
Salerno Butter Cookies!

Grandma watched Zuzka put her fingers through the hole in each cookie, she played ballerina, fingers dancing on the table when she suddenly spoke, “Grandma, why did Grandpa Rommki die? What does ‘die’ mean?”

Grandma and Leesker shot looks at each other, then Grandma spoke, “Grandpa Rommki go sleep fer leng time. He in Heaven now.”

“Grandpa’s in Heaven? He can fly?”

“Yah, Grandpa Rommki kinn fly noww.”

Zuzka’s face lit up with a bright smile. Leaving her Ovaltine and cookies on the table, she jumped off the chair, spread her arms like wings and pretended to fly around the kitchen.

“She be ok,” Grandma looked at Lee who nodded in agreement.

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