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Who says, “blondes can’t hula!”? Not me! Having been raised for a significant part of my childhood in Hawaii, I know whereof I speak. My mother told me that all the Hoale (pron. “How-lee,” meaning non-Hawaiian, namely white) women who gave birth to little girls over there would name them “Leilani.” In fact, my wee sister Julie was almost given that name when she was born, but with all the Leilanis running around, my mother just couldn’t do it. However! The little mother of this little girl saw fit to do so….
Thus begins the description of O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 50, Leilani. You can see her adoption page HERE.
No way could I let a significant number like 50 pass without a love note to the place where I spent half my childhood: Hawaii, the 50th state! We grew up on the north shore of Oahu in a little town called Laie (Lah-EE-ah). The beach was just down the street. I was baptized in the ocean! We had a breadfruit tree in our backyard, coconut trees and plumeria trees in our front, and wearing shoes to school was an option. Our own future Mayor was born there!
So when this little girl sashayed her way in and told me that her name was Leilani, I didn’t bat an eye. Of course it was! Perfect.
There was a lot of hula-ing going on these past few weeks as I hand-knotted Leilani’s grass skirt with raffia from The Dollar Tree. Her lei and headdress are felt flowers. It took some doing to get her lei to hang. I had to add little weights just so.
You may have noticed I’ve been missing for awhile. I have! Things are humming along, and not just with my dog walking gigs. A month or so ago I was giving a presentation to the children’s summer reading program about Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway. We met down the hall in the community center as the library was occupied by a ladies meeting. I talked about the three things I love that are in this story: old dolls, magic, and my own tiny town in the middle-of-nowhere, Iowa.
Well, wouldn’t you know? That very day a Media Specialist for the Education Service Units (ESU) in Nebraska happened to be passing through Rolfe and was hanging out at the library to use the internet. She heard the ladies and the librarian at the meeting talking about me and my book, and now I’m going to be a keynote speaker at a workshop for school and public libraries in Nebraska on September 30th! KISMET.
This is exactly the kind of thing we need. What better way to spread the word about a book than librarians? How nifty that things came together the way they did!
In the meantime, I have a lot of catching up to do with doll adoptions.
In addition to Leilani, I put a new girl up for adoption last night and there is still so much to do for her. Not only that, I’m going to attempt to turn right around and get another doll up for adoption this Sunday. I’ll be burning the midnight oil! This is what happens when you stop to do other things. Orphans start piling up, clamoring for attention!
Now for some more catching up: No. 48, Cassie, was adopted by Michelle E. of Colorado! Yes, THAT Michelle!
And No. 49, Andrea, was adopted by Barbara E. of Mississippi! A new face!
Thank you so much, Michelle and Barbara! This is belated, but you are very much appreciated and cheers to you both.
And with that, I leave you! ALOHA and happy Thursday, you’re my favorite.
I am truly a blessed person, for a band of fairies has taken me under their wings! A representative fairy will flit by Bearing Gifts (just like MARLENE – only NICER. Much nicer!) for every holiday or special event. The main theme for Christmas was socks – which I desperately needed.
I am not one who ever thinks of buying socks! Perhaps it’s because you can take the girl out of Hawaii, but you can’t take Hawaii out of the girl. However, let’s face it: while Iowa may be heaven on earth (and it is! I adore it!), it gets a tad chilly from time to time.
The fairies, somehow magically sensing my cold tootsies, came through with flying colors. With socks of all colors! Striped! Polka dotted! Animal prints! Argyle! Socks of every shape and kind, and I shall Never Go Sockless AGAIN.
But mixed in with the wondrous socks and other goodies, there was a neatly rolled something that turned out to be NOT socks. It was…a DICKIE!
“Hmm!” I said to myself. “They still make these? Why, I haven’t seen one of these since the 70’s! Hmm!” I repeated.
Intrigued because of the novelty of something I thought long gone, and because it was in my most favorite shade of black, I tried it on…
A REVELATION! Oh, LOOK how that GLORIOUS long tube of black traveled all the way up my neck and framed my chin! My CHIN, which I haven’t seen as Pointy and SLENDER in YEARS! LOOK! LOOK!
When living on an island, which the Hollyhock Hideaway sometimes tends to be, we become more and more of a family. Looking at Sally today I was reminded of something that happened when I lived on another little island long ago: Oahu.
There, especially in the small town in which I lived, we all became like family, and when part of our family decided it was time to move back to “the mainland” as we called it, there was always a big to-do.
On the leaving family’s last Sunday in church they would stand at the front of the chapel and the whole congregation would rise and sing, “Aloha Oe,” complete with plenty of tears. Sometimes the leaving family was so beloved it was a wonder there was anyone left to sing at all.
And all the time we were singing this distinctive song in half Hawaiian, half English, church members would walk up to the leaving family one by one with flower leis they made by hand and put them over the family members necks with kisses and good wishes. By the time we were done, more often than not the people with the leis couldn’t see for all the flowers piled ‘round their necks!
Well, this one time the goodbye was especially poignant. The leaving family was especially beloved and the stay behind people were even more reluctant than usual to leave the church building. So imagine the leaving family’s chagrin when there was an unexpected delay in their departure. The next Sunday, there they were.
Which brings me to dear Sally Silver. I’ve looked and looked at her this morning, and I’ve decided: why wait?
Aloha ‘oe, aloha ‘oe
E ke onaona noho I ka lipo
One fond embrace
A ho ‘I a‘e au
Until we meet again