I know basements, or cellars, aren't common in many areas of the world, but here in Northeast Ohio, they are extremely common. They usually have the washing machine and dryer, and the utility tubs, large tubs for cleaning things that would be impractical in the other sinks in the house. Before showers were common, utility tubs were apparently even used for washing hair, which is what my mother taught my sisters and I to do when we were old enough to reach over to the faucet. It wasn't until we got a little older that we realized that we *did* have a shower, and we could use that to wash our hair, like our friends did!
Moving on from that bit of history and nostalgia, basements are also used to store things that are wanted, but aren't used often enough to have them take up space in the living areas of the house. Holiday decorations or camping supplies are a common example. However, my mom's basement needs some serious waterproofing, and it was largely for that reason that my sisters and I needed to clean out what was unnecessary in the basement, either throwing things away, donating things to charity, or taking what was precious up to the first floor now that my mom has the whole house to herself to store things.
We found some interesting things down there. A few newspapers headlining the end of WWII in Europe, or the first moon landing. My mother's high school diploma, tassel, and class picture. But my mother had also stashed lots of old toys belonging to my sisters and I down there, and I want to show two of my old dolls today.
The first one is probably my very first doll. I received her from my grandparents for my first Christmas when I was six months old. She's dirty, her rooted hair is matted and dried out, and her dress is dirty. Her hollow torso is of a cheaper plastic than the limbs. Her only marking is U11 on the back of her head at the hairline. Here she is after years of play, and a few extra decades spent in a basement.
here to check that out.
As you can see, she came with a hooded towel, and underpants which probably should have been a diaper except that would be impractical for water play. My mother sewed a bathrobe for my dolly as well. Based on some other items found down the basement, it looks like my mother used one of our old baby receiving blankets to make the bathrobe. Here is Rub-a-Dub Dolly showing every bit of her forty-two years, poor thing.
The question is now, what do I do with these dolls? If they were to be given away, they'd have to be cleaned, rerooted, and get new clothes. I don't do rerooting, and I'm not inspired to sew for dolls this old. Would it be terrible just to throw them out? I have a bad habit of anthropomorphizing things like old dolls and stuffed animals, when sometimes they are just too worn out, or there isn't a need for them anymore. Once they were given away, I wouldn't know what eventually became of them, and that might even bother me, silly though I am. Know if any old dolls like this have been successfully given new lives?