Laura O'Reilly

Every summer my brother and I were sent to stay at my grandmother's house in the middle of nowhere. The house was surrounded by corn fields.

The most interesting thing there was the abandoned house a few fields away from my grandparent's house. When my grandparents weren't around, busy doing something, me and my brother would sneak inside the abandoned house and look around.

My grandmother told me that the people who lived there left in the middle of the night, so all their stuff was still there -- furniture, dishes, clothes. You can imagine how much fun it was for me to play "house" in there. A big house of my own, there were even beds upstairs.

One day I walked up the curved stairs to the second floor. In the second bedroom, lying on the bed as if waiting for her mother to come home and get her was a doll. She's small with composition head and hands. She has a crier that still works and she's stuffed with straw. I love that doll and still have her today!

She's the reason I started collecting dolls. I was eight when I found that doll, and now I'm 22, and I have over 30 dolls.