"Hi, Doll!"


The bouquets above include anemones, juliet roses, delphinium, hypericum berries, stock flower,majolika spray roses, sweet peas, quicksand roses, playablanca roses, dusty miller, brunia, and variegated pittosporum.

The designs in this entry were inspired by Elma.

Her name was Elma, but everybody called her "Hidoll." This term of endearment came from her grandchildren and was derived from her sweet greeting, "Hi, doll!"

This is "Hidoll" on her wedding day. Look at her hat! Her huge pinned corsage of gardenias in lieu of a bouquet. Her little suit and shoes! Precious overload.

She was the oldest of 10 children and mother of 1, my uncle. Though we were not related by blood, she included my sisters and me in every holiday celebration, plying us with candies at Easter, barbies at Christmas, and barbie accessories for all the times in between. She made those accessories herself. Once, she even knitted a Christmas dress for my prized rag doll. She talked to us, sometimes over coffee (or a demitasse of au lait with a splash of cafe for the children), always interested in what we were doing in school and after school. We felt so grown up that she wanted to chit chat with us. She made us feel a part of everything.

I speak for my sisters and myself when I say we are forever grateful to my cousins for sharing their loving grandmother with us (and their grandpa, too!).

The best present I ever received from her was a box. Kids and boxes, right?

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<<<This is my stationery box. Tin. Hard to open. Full of stickers stuck to the inside by the 7-year-old me who had just learned how to make stickers in Windows 97. So cool, and oh so sophisticated...

I was gifted this box by Hidoll one evening. We had just celebrated some occasion and made our way back to her house after dinner. She caught me staring and offered me a chocolate. But I didn't want chocolate. I was admiring the Monet painting on the top of the tin. Full disclosure - and to the surprise of nobody who knew me as a child- I had a few obsessions. One was art. More specifically, Monet's paintings of his garden. I was so enamored with his work from the age of 4 or 5 that my mother made a habit of planting nasturtiums every year with me, simply because I had seen pictures of Monet's nasturtiums in his own garden.

When we had "centers" in kindergarten and I got to use the paint and easel, I painted my own (rough) renditions of the Japanese bridge. My obsession started with a book, "Linnea in Monet's Garden." A beautiful children's book! A little girl goes to the garden in Giverny and explores Monet's home.

ANYWAY, when someone told her that I liked the painting, not the chocolates (not that I don't love chocolates), she promptly emptied all of the chocolates into a bag and gave me the tin. I thanked her a million times. I held it close the whole way home, excited about putting my very important correspondence supplies in it. When adults do things like that for you as a kid, it makes you feel so special. I hope I can make everyone in my life feel that special.

She was a generous soul, and always kind. She loved her budgies, her history books, and of course, her family. She really liked sweet peas, too, and grew them on her fence every year. So whenever we use sweet peas in our designs, we think of Hidoll :)

The bridal bouquet below includes white sweet peas, blush ranunculus, lisianthus, stock, juliet roses, dusty miller, ruscus, and jasmine. Photocredit: Michelle Preau Photography