I never had a blankie or a rag doll I dragged everywhere. My favourite favourite favourite "toy" to play with was mom's ribbon roll. She had this fascination with ribbons that while didn't rub off on me sometimes I miss playing with the ribbons.
Dad made her a special little closet where he hung several towel rods that she could remove and put her rolls of ribbon on them. So when my mom wasn't busy following my dad around the world or gardening she was doing creative things with ribbons. All our clothes had ribbons growing up - me and my sister's hair were always tied up with ribbons that matched our outfits, or flowing down from hats in our holiday get-ups. She made ribbon bracelets, sometimes sticking little beads in them - for us, for the dog (poor little guy), our dolls, ribbons around little homemade pots of jam or little bags of mix or bottles of champagne brought to every party.
She had stripes, polka dots, flowers, satin, shiny, ribbed, fat, thin - you name it. They were so colourful, like pieces of the rainbow hanging down each with the edge cut at an angle and starting to fray.
I have clear memories of my mom sitting on the uncomfortably thin couch my dad made her buy and scouring crafts magazines for new and exciting things to do with ribbon while dad's news radio blared in the background.
She'd match pretty colours together - a soft pale green with a baby-chick colored yellow, bristling pink with hot red, lucious lilac with evergreen.
She'd keep all the little remnants too, although she never figured out anything to do with them. They were in a huge mason jar, and looked like a kaleidescope when put in the window.
My favourite days were when we'd have "craft" days. Usually dad was off traveling and it was just us girls. Especially if the weather was nasty outside, we'd pick a ribbon and holding onto it, race each other across the room, spinning the colors together like a maypole, then giggling while we un-knotted them.
We'd go to bazaar sales, always searching for new ribbons. It was part of our special times together. All little girls should wear pink ribbons in their hair at least once...