Lindy and I were visiting my mother’s sister and her husband in Chicago when my mother called with fabulous news. She had found a house and she and my dad had made an offer which was accepted. She was elated and kept mentioning one of the best features of the house which was a Dutch door. I had no idea what she was talking about, and I knew better than to reveal that. I just pretended I knew what she was so excited about and in fact, I was excited about this Dutch door which I imagined to be a very special and unusual door. I was very disappointed when I saw that it was merely a door which had a cut in the middle and could be opened from the top or bottom.
What Mary had neglected to mention was that in the three bedroom home, the master bedroom was decorated with Cinderella wall-paper and she had already determined that that would be perfect for Lindy. She and my dad would take the medium-sized bedroom and that left the extremely small bedroom for me. Since I always had the smallest bedroom in the house, I scarcely noticed.
I started seventh grade that fall and Lindy was in fourth. I decided that all of my beautiful dolls should be put away in a box so that I could re-claim them when I was older. There was no room in the small bedroom for a storage box, so I put them in the basement. One day I came home from school and Lindy yelled up to me that she was in the basement. “Sister,” she said, “I have washed all your dolls’ clothes and cut their hair.” When I started crying, she said, “Don’t worry. It will grow back.”
My mother paid no attention to us as long as we were not bothering her. Lindy had spent a good deal of time washing clothes and cutting doll hair, but as long as she left my mother alone, her activities were just fine with her. Mary taught us very early not to get in her way.