If the coronavirus taught the world anything, it was that you had to be prepared for anything, and you never know when the things you love could be taken from you.
Kat knew her purpose in life now. It was clear she would be the custodian of family history, the matriarch of “make do and mend” and instil her values into Kylie & Tiffany to leave a lasting legacy.
She started with the dolls house. That involved getting Bill to find it. He would know which corner of the garage it was hiding. She’s pretty sure it’s under a woollen blanket, to keep it safe from bird droppings.
Bill did eventually find the dolls house, under a sheet, safe from bird droppings but covered in mouse droppings and a bonus mouse carcass. Mice had also nibbled on some of the matchbox furniture. It wasn’t easy, but he manoeuvred the dolls house out in the sunshine on the driveway. He removed the dead mouse and dusted off the droppings before calling for Kat to come see.
Kat was dismayed. The precious tables, chairs, beds and wardrobes that her father handmade for her were tatty and faded. The wrapping paper wallpaper was stained, and what was that smell? How could Bill let this happen? The tears flowed freely, the screen door slammed as she stormed into the house.
If only Bill had made room for it in the house! He just didn’t know how to take care of things. His family threw everything away. They didn’t even keep special things. He didn’t have a single textbook from high school. He may as well have never gone. Bill’s mother had no regard for the importance of a physical record of life’s milestones.
Kat was determined that her family would not grow up like that. As she sobbed in the bedroom, she spotted out of the corner of her eye, the box of recycled wrapping paper. A steely resolve grew over her and she knew what she had to do.
Silently congratulating herself on keeping a supply of papers, felt, matchboxes, various craft glues, offcuts of fabric and more, she goes online to see if Pinterest can give her some decorating ideas. There were so many good ideas, she spent the day printing off instructions and dreaming of the look on Tiffany’s face when she sees what Kat has produced.
Meanwhile, Bill takes a damp sponge and gets to work cleaning up the dolls house to remove stains and scrub away stubborn marks. He puts a lick of paint on the roof and sides. Some of the furniture could be saved. The rest can be replaced later. With a good clean and a day in the sun, the dolls house smells fresh and as soon as the paint dries, it will be ready to play with.
That was good timing because Kylie and Tiffany arrived to see the dolls house sitting in the driveway. Tiffany’s eyes grew wide with delight. Her squeals drew Kat outside from her computer. Kat squealed too, in horror!
“I love it! Thank you. Can I take it home so my dolls can play in it?” Tiffany asked.
At exactly the same time, Bill said “Sure”, while Kat said, “No, we have to keep it nice so you can pass it on to your daughter one day.”
Kylie piped in, “Oh you’ve got to be kidding Mum. I’ve never even seen this dolls house. Why didn’t I ever get to play with it?”
Kat was adamant. “It’s an heirloom. It’s not for playing with. All this stuff I’m keeping is for you. It’s your legacy.”
Kylie shook her head. “A legacy has to be more than just some dusty old stuff that you’d find in an op shop. I’d prefer a legacy of happy memories of spending time together and not always arguing about stuff.”
Kat sighed heavily and thought, “I tried to raise them right, but clearly they’ve inherited Bill’s mother’s genes.”
Tiffany, a sensitive girl, could tell her grandmother was hurt and she tried to fix the situation. “Grandma, maybe you could teach me to cook?”
Kat said, “What a good idea. Let’s go on the internet to find what we might need. I was just on Pinterest before and I saw some cute decorated biscuits.”
Catch up on all the past Adventures of Kat here…