All of winter 2015 I’d drive by our neighbor’s house gawking at all of the beautiful oranges dangling from the huge tree in their front yard. I also noticed that they had kumquats off to the side of their house. Looking at the fruit reminded me of the fruit trees my grandparents had in their yard, which included a kumquat tree, an orange tree and a tangerine tree. My cousins and I would run around outside for hours and snatch some fruit and keep playing; the fruit was like an instant fuel source.

Well winter 2016 had rolled around and I noticed the fruit again. My husband kept encouraging me to ask the neighbors, but for some reason, the “courage ambassador” was afraid. We’ll the enemy wasn’t going to win this time around. So one Sunday after church I pulled into the driveway and got out and rang the doorbell. I heard a small dog barking. No one answered. I rushed back to my car to write a note requesting some of the oranges; I also included my cell phone number.

I had already checked out at Walmart when I remembered that I had forgotten something. So I rushed towards the health and beauty aisle. As I headed to the far end of the store (which looked like a mile away), I turned my head to the left, looked down and my eyes met her. This beautiful Barbie was tucked away on an end-cap. I stopped in my tracks, picked her up and immediately noticed her dark skin–she looked like me… Well not really but her skin sure did!

She was exactly what I wanted growing up. However, my mom only bought what she could afford and what was available at Pic’N Save–white Barbie dolls every Christmas. They were OK but I didn’t complain. The white Barbie looked nothing like me. She had long blonde hair, blue eyes and pink lips, which couldn’t compare to my short, kinky hair, popped eyes and deep dark skin. So you may wonder why at 43, I would be so excited about this doll?