I celebrated my 6th birthay in Austria (Alps, not Kangaroos). I was there with my grandmother and grandfather visiting his sister and her family. I had a lovely time playing with my cousins Alexander and Evelyn. I adored Evelyn.. she was about 4 years older than me and she had the most wonderful clothes. She sent me home with a lot of clothes that she had outgrown. I especially loved the flowery twirly skirt with matching peasant blouse!
My mother mailed me a birthday present for me to open on my birthday. How wonderful it was to get a package!! I opened it and it was a Strawberry Shortcake doll, the tomboyish one, Blueberry something-or-other I think. Or maybe it was a butterscotchy one. I don't remember. Anyway, I was already was envisioning her living alongside Strawberry in the shoe box she occupied. She smelled soooooo wonderful!
On our last day in Austria we took a long time to say goodbye. I cried. I was going to miss everyone so much. I STILL absolutely love the memories I have of that trip.. the old lady with the budgie birds, playing in the rain with a plastic swan, wandering in the woods looking for mushrooms, feeding wild birds that landed directly on my hand.. I love all of the memories! Except for one..
On that very last day of our visit to Austria my grandmother thought it would be a nice gesture on my part to give cousin Evelyn my Blueberry (Butterscotch?) doll. As a way to remember me. As a way to say thanks for the clothes. As a way to say it was nice to see you again. It pained my heart to hand over that delicious smelling silky haired doll. I even said no, out loud, to my grandmother. That's just not done. But I did it because I adored my little doll. She was my BIRTHDAY present for crying out loud! From my mother! Who was in another country!!
I still miss her.