Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blue, and More Bllue

When I asked my neighbor for a cutting from her hydrangea, I stopped to consider that I already have five vases of that same hydrangea, some dating back to a year ago. Did I really need/want more? Yes, I did.

Each possesses a different blue shade, and I covet all of them.

One is the same faded blue of the suit my mother wore when she married my father in Atlanta during WWII. The suit is impossibly small — my mom weighed ninety-something pounds then. I have it folded away safely.

When I was a child, she kept it in a trunk in the basement, and sometimes I'd make myself invisible and go downstairs, quietly open the trunk and take it out, unfold it, hold it. Cornflower-blue crepe, short sleeves, covered buttons. Lace on the collar and sleeves. Not sure why I was so furtive in my viewing, but something about going into that trunk felt like a violation, felt forbidden.

I lucked upon it after her death. Funny, but all my adult years I've searched out as many blue flowers as possible to plant in my garden.


  1. My mother kept her wedding dress; it had a 21 inch waist. I wonder what happened to it... maybe my sister has it.

  2. Thru Cro above...I have found this blog. The photo is amazing. The story even more beautiful

  3. Donna-with-the-Irish-name, thanks for stopping by!

  4. I love these flowers. Especially the Lace Cap variety. They grow well in Sacramento, and I've a perfect spot for potted ones on my patio.

    That dress held some kind of magic for you...I can understand why it felt somewhat dangerous to seek it out: she had it, essentially hidden away, and you yearned for it but couldn't seem to ask her to view it. So it was your secret viewing that made it seem a kind of violation. Do you think, had you asked, she would have happily shown it to you and allowed you to hold it?

  5. The threads that hold us, firmly or tenuously, to what is essential are so varied, so deeply personal. Blue flowers and the wedding suit. The scent of honeysuckle in my grandmother's back yard or a bar of Fels Naptha soap in her basement laundry. What a complex puzzle it all is. xo