My hunter/gatherer roots are never far from the surface. Or maybe I'm descended from pirates and all of this can be traced back to a centuries-old desire for buried treasure. There has to be something more than the simple practicality of saving money that causes me to get childishly excited any time I have an opportunity to mine for gems on the secondary market. The night before Zerolandfill or an estate or rummage sale my eager anticipation mirrors that of preschoolers quequing up at the starting line of an Easter egg hunt.
I'm not proud to admit it, but over the past week I've visited my church more than I did this entire summer. It started with Sorting Sunday when the entire congregation stayed after the 10:30 service to help move all of the donations for our annual Trash and Treasure Sale from the large mult-purpose room to the various places where they would be sold.
Although I tried to play it cool, I was excited to open each new box of donations to see what was inside. The fact that most of it was pretty ordinary made the exceptions all the more thrilling. I didn't think much of the blue and white striped copy paper box as I approached it. Upon closer inspection, I saw "Dollhouse + Furniture" printed on it in faint blue ballpoint pen. When I opened the lid, I tried not to squeal with glee. Check it out:
Not a doll house, but a fashion boutique, four small shoppers and an assortment of tops, skirts, hats, wigs--even a cape. I looked everywhere, but was unable to find a single clue about the name, manufacturer or date of this toy. The name "Madeline" was written on the bottom of two of the doll's in blue ink, so I'm guessing that was who owned at least half of the set. Maybe the other two dolls belonged to a sister?
I knew Little Tiger and The Milk Belly Princess would love this toy. It was still there when I arrived at church to price sale items on Monday, so I scooped it up. I thought about saving it for Christmas, but The Milk Belly Princess saw me gathering all of the pieces and it was over. We brought the play set home and were in the midst of giving the dolls and their clothes a bath on our front stoop when Little Tiger arrived home on the school bus. She was happy to join us.
Since we brought the dolls and their boutique home on Monday it has usurped everything else as the favorite toy in our house. Several times during the early afternoons, I've stopped what I was doing to listen to The Milk Belly Princess croon to the dolls, making them talk and sing to each other. I tried to sneak up on her and get some candid shots, but she was on to me. For as much as she loves imaginary play, she hates it when she thinks anyone is watching or listening. So this was the best I could do:
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!