HittyG’s first house: a fond farewell

All Hittys want a place to call home. I have mentioned in a previous post that I had received a bed in which to sleep (well, rest maybe) early in my stay at Happy’s house, but it took about a year before she realized my things had outgrown the top of her dresser. Like every good collector, she had a stash of things, just waiting to be recycled into something useful and livable.

My first house was an old kitchen wall cupboard, the sort you might find on the wall above of one of the older and much smaller refrigerators. It was a deep reddish maroon on the front and one side, not an unlikable color. The other side was … well, not so pretty. In other words, it wasn’t consistent. The doors had been applied to the outside of this cupboard, but inside it measured 36″ wide, 15″ tall, and 12″ of usable space deep. Happy had spotted it several years earlier for $5 at the annual Loudoun Hospital rummage sale in Loudoun County (a most worthy cause, in its 70th year for 2008). It was fairly sturdy, reasonably spacious, and might be useful for storage, she thought at the time. It was shoved under a desk and used for just that purpose until my need for a home. Perfect, she thought. Or so it seemed.

The doors were great to keep out the tiny and determined fingers of the granddaughter who lived in the Big house at the time. Here, I must digress to point out that Happy didn’t bother to decorate this somewhat primitive house, if I dare call it that, inside or out, or spruce it up in any fashion. She did turn it upside down to avoid a “lip on the “floor.” This also provided a smooth top surface which she suggested might become a little garden for me. OK, but by this time, it was not just me – there were also a number of Hitty cousins. However, Happy insisted that the house belonged to me, HittyG, and I could share it as I pleased or not.

Of course my bed was not the only thing that precipitated the need for a house of my own, and as she installed the pieces inside the cupboard house, it was soon obvious that it wouldn’t all fit. Thus, the roof garden idea gave way to actual rooms. The arrangment of the rooms changed some over time, but this is the house as it looked for most of my residence in it.

My first house as it looked in 2007.

My first house as it looked in 2007.

You can see that on the first floor, I had a bedroom and a living room. On the second floor, there was office space and a kitchen. Interestingly, the little rocker I was given early on never made it into this house, but stayed where it was so that I’d have a place to sit elsewhere in the Big house. The original table/night stand didn’t make it into this house either. I’ve asked Happy to load up some pictures of the different rooms for you to see better.

Bedroom as it then looked.

Bedroom as it then looked.

You can tell by the open suitcase on the bed, I’m either just returning from a trip or packing to leave on one. Beside my bed, to the left in the corner, is a night table (though you can’t see it well enough to know it’s got a great drawer for holding things), my toy trunk (now way too full to close the lid), and my closet with my growing wardrobe. The closet was another great Loudoun Hospital sale find, a box that Happy declared would make an excellent closet if a pole and shelf were added. You can see here that the pole is in place, though unstained to match, but the shelf to this day has never been added. I keep asking, but…
The original living room.

The original living room.

In the living room, I have another small table like the one in the bedroom at the back left of the picture where it shows up no better than its twin. One of my favorite pieces is my red rug. I just think it’s wonderful. Happy borrowed a piano from some bear she knows named Muffy for me, and I enjoy that quite a bit. The big piece is a hutch and drop front desk, but I rarely used that, except for storage. You can see a red chair and a rocker there, as well as a small folding screen for which Happy seems to have a fondness.

Upstairs, I have a marvelous desk. This picture really doesn’t show it off as well as it could be. Maybe we can take another picture of just that desk some time so you can see all the wonderful details. It has a brass rail at the top to keep my books from sliding off, a slanted lift top on which to write and storage beneath, and on the right side, three little drawers. The chair with it was made by the same person, whose name I do not know.

Office and dining area off the kitchen

Office and dining area off the kitchen

Separating the office from the dining area is another of those little divider screens. You can see the table and chairs, some of our dishes (and apparently the sewing machine which someone left out – we need better help), and a hutch behind. The actual kitchen is to the right of that, but we don’t seem to have any good pictures of it. Again, Happy got a sink from Muffy bear, and she bought us a stove that is huge and wonderful. Of course there is no refrigerator, and the kitchen and such is really just for show. After all, what would a wooden doll need to eat?

One thing I must be sure to mention. Many of the pieces in the house were made by one person for his daughter when she was a small child. They were likely for a Ginny doll or MA Wendy, but though some are a tad large for me, I consider myself small and likely to be able to use these as a child might furniture in her home. Of course I’m not a child, but a fully independent doll, but you understand I’m sure. Anyway, these pieces of furniture – desk, chair, kitchen table and four chairs, two tables with drawers, the red chair, rocker and hutch in the living room – are all hand-made pieces from the same collection. They are truly works of art.

You may also wonder where we all sleep since there’s only one bed and clearly there are several of us. Well, the truth is that we Hittys don’t absolutely have to sleep. We girls use the bed, some to pretend sleep, some just to sit on and have girl talk, sometimes we cuddle up and either Hitty Rae or I read to the others. Mostly we just hang out wherever it feels right at the time. Of course where we go and what we do when Happy is sleeping is not something we are telling.

Eventually, as my family and friends grew in number, new furniture pieces were added or exchanged, etc., this home became too small. In July of 2008, Happy surprised me by announcing that she had purchased me a new home. It was to be much larger with many more rooms. In fact, it was a china cabinet with full glass doors at the top and solid ones below. This was greeted by one and all as fabulous news, since the Hitty cousins had, out of necessity, been scattered all over the place, some even (horrors) in drawers or cupboards, since there wasn’t nearly enough space for all of us in the old place at the same time. Happy also promised that she would assist us in decorating it. Finally, no more bland wooden walls, but real color and decor. Hooray. We were eager to move and began to pack. Somehow, in the process of packing and moving, most of these pictures sadly were lost.

Eva, Hitty Rae, and Maggie getting settled

Eva, Hitty Rae, and Maggie getting settled

We still have a few boxes that are as yet unpacked in the new house, but that may be all to the good since now we need to move things yet again so that the new wallpaper can be installed. We expect delivery today of some of our new molding, and we have Happy’s assurance that she will (finally) stain the closet rod and install a shelf ASAP. Right.


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