Patience, patience….

My aunt went on, “I don’t know what will become of Sadie. Will you take her home with you and look after her?” “One day, I will,” I replied.  But, for now, she can remain in quiet retirement. She has earned her rest.

Do you remember Sadie Rosemary? The family doll of long years and multiple identities?

Sadie Rosemary

Sadie Rosemary

About six weeks ago, I visited my aunt at her retirement home. She said it was time for me to take care of Sadie; to bring her home with me. The “one day” we spoke of, on previous occasions, had arrived. It was now. No excuses!

So, I swaddled Sadie in her orange shawl, gathered her close, like a newborn babe, and presented her to my aunt for a farewell kiss and, then, with tear-salted smiles, we were off. Off, by car, across the Plains, to begin another chapter in the Life of Sadie Rosemary. It will, most likely, be a staid chapter but Sadie won’t mind. She’s a patient, placid sort, used to sitting about, and letting what will be, be. And, in the process of sitting and being, she’s experienced an enormous amount of life; much more than you would believe by simply looking at her baby-sized self.

Sadie came to life in Japan in the 1920s. Still brand new, she was shipped out  to New Zealand (much like any other settler of the early days), where she found a home in Papanui with two young girls, only a little older than herself.  They all wore matching knitted dresses, home-made in New Zealand. 🙂

Pretending to ride a horse

Pretending to ride a horse

Later, when the little girls grew up, one of them, the one with curly-whirly hair,  went to Fiji, and Sadie eventually joined her, to be cared for by two more little girls; my sister and I.   Sadie, being a  celluloid doll, was not supposed to do well in the heat and moisture but, somehow, she survived more than twenty years in the tropics without exploding or disintegrating. Which meant that, one day, she was able to fly ( in a jet plane, no less! ) all the way back to New Zealand, where, after a certain amount of reverse culture shock, she settled down to a time of quiet contemplation, in the home of her very first companion, my aunt, ( the one with tidy hair and beautiful big bow). In a small, country town they grew old souls, together,

My aunt and Sadie; growing together

My aunt and Sadie; growing together

until that moment, last month, when my aunt said “Now, Sadie, NOW is the time for your next home”.

And, so, here she is, safely home, yet again. To a place where she is snug and content,

Sadie Rosemary, safely home, yet again

Sadie Rosemary, safely home, yet again

and as deeply loved as ever she was.

But quietly, quietly,  I ask, ” Sadie, Rosemary, Sadie, who will take care of you next? ” And from the pale blue eyes there comes a whisper, “Patience, patience; the time is not yet.”  Such wisdom from a doll of long years. 🙂

© silkannthreades

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114 thoughts on “Patience, patience….

  1. mmmarzipan

    So, so sweet! I want to give Sadie a cuddle too!
    I have my childhood favourite (Bubba, a once pink, now grey bear with a glued on eye and partially burnt ear) with me in Stockholm. She has lived everywhere I have lived and seen me at my best and worst.

    Reply
      1. mmmarzipan

        Cupcake has her blankie (which is her favourite thing right now) and L has the rather strangely named “Timandrhino”! I won a competition earlier this year and the prize was a toy dog made out of organic fabric scraps by a Swedish kids fashion label. Pretty cool, really. L, like his mama, is a Poh Ling Yeow fan. Poh has two Scotty dogs, one called Tim and one called Rhino. She posts lots of pictures of them on Instagram and L is a little besotted. So when I asked him what he wanted to call his new dog, he said “Timandrhino!” Timandrhino is the current favourite 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Timandrhino sounds perfect. I adore Scotty dogs and had a toy one as a child. Actually it belonged to my brother but he allowed his sisters to inherit it. Such a good brother. 🙂 Blankies, although I didn’t ever have one, seem to be very satisfactory friends.

  2. Wendy Macdonald

    Sadie is a beautiful old doll. Your pictures and prose would make a divine picture book. It’s just the sort of one I’d have read to my daughter when she was younger (we have gone through so many books together). We have kept a vintage doll because it is able to wear my daughter’s old baby clothes. I’m hoping this doll will need to pack her bags one day to delight the heart of a grandchild.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope your doll will have that adventure, too, one day. I think Sadie would say she has enjoyed, is still enjoying, hers. And look how young adventures will keep you. 😀 Wendy, I may make a wee book with Sadie’s story that I can keep near her. It would be fun for future generations to read . I may also check if any of the baby clothes I have kept would fit Sadie Rosemary. That’s a great idea.

      Reply
      1. Wendy Macdonald

        I got the baby clothing idea from a friend who did that with her daughter. It was hard to find a doll that would work since they don’t seem to make them like they used to… I ended up bidding on an antique doll and got it for $20.00. It was for a charity. She didn’t age as graciously as your doll has. Hats help… My daughter just informed me that her doll’s name is Rose. ❀

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          $20.00 was a bargain. I am smiling that your daughter’s doll is called Rose. I have another doll, tucked away in the attic. She was given to me when I was about 5 or 6. Her name is Patricia Rosemary. Rose or Rosemary are good names for a doll.

  3. April

    Do write her story to carry with her. I have a doll buggy from the late 1920s and can’t remember the story behind it. There is also a doll in it with no story. I would really like to have them, and maybe, one day, my daughter will cherish it too. I’m going on a hunt for her background story.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks for the encouragement. The pram we had with Sadie came to an end; it was not, despite its size, as enduring as the doll. Your doll and buggy would be of an age with my Sadie. Hope you can find out their story.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      He was completely perplexed, at first. She smelt human, looked human, but she didn’t move. Now she is just part of the furniture, as far as he is concerned.

      Reply
  4. Britt Skrabanek

    Oh, how I LOVE this story! So awesome. Sadie’s quite the adventurer! : )

    My family isn’t very much into keeping things around, which makes me sad, but I believe in hanging onto a few precious things, like my raggedy life-sized stuffed animal rabbit my grandmother gave me when I was four. Bunny takes up a lot of room, but I can’t let it go!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I wouldn’t let Bunny go either. I still have my Bunny, Honey Bun. He must be at least 55 years old. Of rabbits; are you a fan of the Velveteen Rabbit which I mentioned in my Happiness in a Bag post? Or perhaps a fan of the bunnies in the books by Beatrix Potter, whose birthday it is today, 28 July? And then there is my favourite bunny story, “The Very Hungry Bunny and What He Found Out”, which is so old, I can’t even find a reference to it on the internet. 😦

      Reply
  5. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    Yesterday a dear friend was telling me when she was 15 or so, her grandmother started giving her possessions away to family members as birthday, Christmas and other occasion gifts. She said one year for her birthday she received a bowl she loved and another her grandmother had picked out several photos and placed them in a box as a gift. I don’t have immediate family other than Tom so have started passing on to nieces and nephews as I believe is appropriate.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I think that is an excellent idea. My mother has gifted us various treasures of hers, in recent years. I need to start thinking about doing the same, but am finding the very thought of it hard.

      Reply
      1. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

        It is hard. I have my Father’s saddle and although I no longer ride, I don’t want to part with it. I find it much harder to pass along my father’s and grandfather’s possessions than any of the household items such as antique dishes and linens. My fraternal Grandmother was a savvy business woman. About 2 years before she passed, she told everyone in the family that if they wanted anything of her’s and grandfather’s that they should use a plain piece of paper and write their name and amount they were willing to pay on it. Then, at the time she had to move out of her own place, the highest bidder prepared to pay cash would get the item. I lived far from home at the time but asked Dad to place my bids for me. I thought it was an interesting way to do things.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          That is an intriguing way to pass on one’s treasures. It certainly meant that your grandparents’ possessions went to those who valued them most. And no one would be able to accuse your grandmother of favouritism. Very savvy! I am sorry to hear that you don’t ride anymore. A year or so ago, I thought it would be good for my fitness and balance to take riding lessons. I put them on my bucket list. However, the nearest stables are rather far from me so riding lessons are on hold.

  6. Boomdeeadda

    Just fantastic to know the stories behind such keepsakes and have photo’s with her to boot. She looks brilliant for her age. Must have been we loved and gently played with. I imagine a number of family members might be hoping to be her next caretaker.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      We must have been very gentle with her! We are a bit short on girls in the next generation, so, perhaps, I will need to work on some of the men in the family. Could be interesting!

      Reply
  7. Pingback: Creating Bunnies – A Work In Progress | The Contented Crafter

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      That is important, but you make me wonder if I should print out her story and place it somewhere on her person. Then I can be extra sure the story will remain.

      Reply
  8. diannegray

    Sadie,is in beautiful condition and I’m sure she will love living with you again. I also love the way your dog barked to let you know she was there – great story! 😀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Dianne. My Jack’s reaction was seriously cute but , apart from anything else, because Sadie had been with my aunt for so long, she carried the scent of aunt, which I think thoroughly perplexed Jack. In part, he was probably trying to tell me that his friend, my aunt, was in the room but in the wrong shape!

      Reply
  9. lensandpensbysally

    What a wonderful familial legacy–I am so touched by your story. It brought gentle light tears welling with the sentiments that you expressed. Really a lovely heartfelt gift to you or yours.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I cried a little when I put Sadie in my car to bring home. But, then, once home, I placed her temporarily in a chair in the living room. I left the room, for a moment, and then came rushing back when I heard my dog barking furiously as if there were an intruder in the house. I found him standing by my Sadie’s chair, barking and barking and letting me know that there was someone new in the room. It did make me laugh and my aunt thought it was funny too when I told her later. That’s how real Sadie seems; even my little dog thinks so.

      Reply
  10. shoreacres

    My dolls all are gone now, except for my Raggedy Ann. She’s been with me for — a long time. When my aunt asked me a few years ago what I’d like for Christmas, I asked for a new pinafore and new pantaloons for Raggedy Ann — and she obliged!

    I would have let go of my dolls earlier, but Mom was quite attached to them. I think part of the reason was because she made all of their clothes — knitted ice skating outfits, little tailored coats, pretty sundresses. Since Mom made most of my clothes, too, she often made doll clothes from the scraps, so my dollies and I could dress alike. It was such fun.

    I smiled to see your comment about treatment of dolls being an indicator for treatment of humans. I remember my own inclincation to drag my dolls around by a leg or an arm, and how often I heard, “Would you want to be dragged around by your leg?” Eventually, I stopped doing that. It wasn’t that I was abiding by the rules, it’s that I’d learned something about imagination and empathy.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      How wonderful of your aunt to make new clothes for your Raggedy Ann….my aunt would probably have knitted new clothes for Sadie if I had asked but she lost her dress-making skills many years ago; but not knitting, strangely enough. In years gone by, she and I made all the clothes for my dolls and they had great wardrobes made from leftover scraps of material. I suppose I did drag dolls and toys around at some stage. It’s probably the easiest way till a child gets the hang of holding and walking at the same time. 🙂 It’s an image perfectly captured by Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear http://www.greeting-cards-4u.com/platinum6/pictures/images/poohnew/MorePooh/upstairs.jpg

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      My aunt has wanted me to take Sadie Rosemary for years. I think,in her heart, she let go of her sometime back. I wish I could do that with some of my possessions.

      Reply
  11. Tiny

    Wonderful! Sadie looks so fresh and happy considering all the life she’s seen – or maybe because all she’s seen? She’ll have a wonderful home with you for many years to come and doesn’t want to hear about anything else. I’m sure she’ll grow to enjoy your blogging activities very soon 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Now there’s a thought! Perhaps I am wrong to place her in a bedroom. She may like to witness new technology and blogging, after all she was once very modern and high tech, herself. I will have to find her place to sit next to the computer.

      Reply
  12. Steve Schwartzman

    Did you know that Sadie started out as a pet form of Sarah? In a similar way, Dolly began as a pet form of Dorothy. Dolly eventually generated the shorter Doll, which then became the common noun doll.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Indeed, I didn’t know any of that. Perhaps I now need to add Sarah Dorothy to her list of names. I was wondering if I should add Patience, as a name.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I hope she hasn’t suffered! But endure and undergo and support would seem to fit. And, possibly, bear or put up with a lot of stuff and nonsense.

  13. KerryCan

    The doll is wonderful and in wonderful condition, but what I really like are the photos of the doll with her people! Those little girls, treating the doll like a sister, and imbuing her with human-ness, as you did later and continue to do–so special!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The doll is in remarkable condition. She did have one visit to a doll hospital in the late 80s, I think, but that’s all the ‘medical’ attention she has ever needed. There were some other lovely photos of my aunt and my mother with their new doll sister. She went everywhere with them. However, the quality of the photos is very poor, so they would not do well in blog format.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      And, unlike most of us, surprisingly few misadventures. 😉 Perhaps that’s because she sat patiently and thought things through very very slowly and thoroughly. 😀

      Reply
  14. Clanmother

    There is always a right time, but it is not so easy to wait. We want to know with certainty that there will be a resolution, a happy ending. Sadie Rosemary has an elegant grace that comes with acceptance of change.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Clanmother, I think my aunt was wanting that certainty. Sadie was becoming a worry to her, instead of a pleasure. I love that you say that Sadie shows the grace that comes with acceptance of change. Perhaps all dolls that live long enough have that look. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sheryl, it’s wonderful to have those early photos of Sadie. I expect there are some photos of my early days with Sadie, but where I don’t know ; which box, which cupboard??? I have so many family treasures and photos stored away in difficult to access places.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am sure she would have great stories to tell. Imagine all the things she heard and saw in the retirement/nursing home! And what about that long voyage from Japan. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sadie had a beautiful wardrobe. I may still have some of her clothes stored in the attic, but I am not sure. My aunt, a dressmaker by training, made exquisite clothes for Sadie and for many of my other dolls.

      Reply
  15. thecontentedcrafter

    That is a beautiful story! We en-soul our beloved dolls don’t we? Taking care to pass them on to the next set of loving hands is so important. I passed my much loved ‘Walkie-Talkie’ doll, a gift from a beloved aunt for my fourth birthday, to my eldest daughter when I thought she was old enough to value her. I still have a grainy black and white photo showing the joy on her face the Christmas morning she opened the box to discover the much loved doll within. The doll, now known as Marie, [after Marie Osmond – the idol of the time] sits on my daughters dresser and is still much loved. I do not know where she will go next, but I am sure my daughter will take care of that when the time is right.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      How lovely that you have a special doll to pass on in your family. When you speak of your daughter’s joy when she received Marie, I am taken back to the excitement I felt when Sadie and her beautiful pram arrived in my childhood home. Later I had other dolls but Sadie Rosemary was always the easiest to hug. There is something special about dolls…can you imagine people loving their X Box like this and passing it tenderly through the generations? Or perhaps they do? 😉

      Reply
  16. Mrs. P

    She is in such excellent shape, very well preserved. I am sure she will find comfort and safety in her new home. So wise beyond her years.

    Reply
  17. coulda shoulda woulda

    I had a doll from my childhood that got stolen during a burglary! I am still gutted about that because I apparently was very attached to it. What a great family heirloom and I hope she comforts and looks over many more generations 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope she lasts the distance. For a celluloid doll she has done remarkably well to last this long. Oh, burglaries are so vexing…grrrrr…and they stick like glue in the memory cells which makes them even more vexing.

      Reply
  18. YellowCable

    This story is so amazing that that Sadie continues her life from one generation to generation. She still looks fabulous at her age of 94 year old. Her wisdom is even yet amazing – yes not yet.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Ellen. I wonder if you treat a doll with love and respect it is an indication of how you treat people. I would certainly say that is the case with my aunt.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I haven’t succumbed to the afternoon nap yet, but I don’t know why we consider naps as the province of first and second childhoods and old age. Must teach myself not to feel guilty about naps. 🙂

        2. leapingtracks

          I think you should just go for it. There is nothing nicer than a lovely afternoon nap, perhaps in the sunshine, perhaps the shade, perhaps with the radio on, perhaps just with the ambient noise of the neighbourhood to lull you off – how can you resist! 🙂

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh, I will share that with my daughter. I think that piece of music is one of her favourites. She has just INSTRUCTED me to listen to: Respighi: Reiner – CSO – Pines of Rome ; Capriccio Espagnol -Christiaan Janssen; Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade-Svetlanov. Sheesh, no time to sleep. 😀

        4. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh thank you. I have just finished the Beethoven which was soothing. Am now on to the Capriccio. Not so sure about this one, but I will listen diligently.

        5. Gallivanta Post author

          Indeed not, but it’s wonderful that we all have different ears to hear. Did you notice The Lark Ascending on my sidebar? It’s a hundred years since that was written. You probably saw the BBC documentary from whence came the video clip.

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