Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hilda and Irene

My Grandmother Hilda lived just a few houses down the street from her sister Irene. Two sisters could not be more unalike except when it came to the keeping of their homes. Where Hilda wore sensible shoes and house dresses as she went about her day's work, Irene could be found listening to the radio on her kitchen windowsill, her toe tapping in a stylish pump as she dried the dinner dishes.

The sisters had only the kindest of compliments for each other and their homemaking skills, but this first grandchild knew whose home was truly the best.

My grandmother would say to me as she handed me a cookie from the Dutch Boy on the counter, "Take this plate of cookies to your Aunt Irene and tell her there is not a lighter crumb than in these cookies.  Down the street I would skip to Aunt Irene's kitchen door where she would usher me in, a thickly frosted piece of cake held on a waiting plate. She would say to me as I took my leave, "Take this cake to your grandmother and tell her there is not a moister crumb than in this cake"

In the evening my grandmother would prepare the bathroom for my bath. The heater inside the pink tiled walls would glow a warm orange. Fluffy white towels would be handed to me from a glass fronted cabinet. My grandmother would say, "The next time you are at Aunt Irene's look to see if her bathroom grout is as white as mine."

Back and forth I would go all the days of my visits to see my grandmother. Even as a newlywed I would be sent down the block to Aunt Irene's to make some comparison that would cement just who truly was the best homemaker. With each trip I would be pampered and hugged and kissed and made to feel under any circumstance that I was loved the most.

I just had to add this sweet three color planter to my collection. It reminds me so of my grandmother's and Aunt Irene's white clapboard homes on Colbert Street in New Orleans.


  1. What a beautiful gift your uncle gave you!

  2. wow Elizabeth, its so obvious why are the "you" you are.. YOu come from a remarkable family.

  3. What a sweet man. we lost y husband's uncle last night. He was just the most wonderful man.
    To personally know loved ones affected by these floods has to bring up memories. Was it Katrina?

  4. I've been reading the Red Fairy Book and I have to chuckle at your narrative. Your story reads just like a fairy tale. In it you are wearing a little red or gold cape and carry a basket on your trips from cottage to cottage. "There is not a lighter crumb..." And what place more magical than New Orleans? What a wonderful storyteller you are!

  5. What a wonderful story of your grandmothers!! Love your planter, the colors are the best!!


  6. cute at both ends...with Love Janice

  7. elizabeth.. you crack me up.. now where did the story about your uncle and father go?

  8. The colors had me at the onset but then I was drawn to the story of battling sisters with a smile. A story my mother and I play out frequently. Ha! I guess I should let her win sometimes...smiles...Renee

  9. You have such a remarkable family and such a remarkable gift of storytelling. Your planter collection is just divine too.

  10. A beautiful story and such a treasures of a family you have!! Thanks you for always sharing your memories! xo Heather

  11. What a sweet story! Thank you for giving me a lift with a happy tale.
    What sweet looking vases. How I love the creamy pastels and cute little characters.
    Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, my friend,
    Carolynn xoxo

  12. Housekeeping Wars! Should be a show on HGTV! That's a war I would never win I'm afraid..

    You are such a great storyteller. Could you please come to my house and tell me stories until I fall asleep at night?



  13. I could see it all so perfectly, Elizabeth! ♥

  14. I love Hilda and Irene! How lucky you are to have these sweet memories.

  15. I think this is my favorite story so far. It sounds like a childrens book. And the moral of the story is- you were loved by both.

  16. You have the best stories!!! Have you ever wanted to compile them into a book?
    Blessings, Joanne

  17. I love all of the planters. What a wonderful funny.

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Your kind words mean so very much to me. Thank you for your visit! Elizabeth