A slice of local life: Blooming business brings beauty

Taking care to add just the right sentiment into every bouquet is Tammy Hall, owner of Tammy’s Floral on the Heights.

Photo by Julie Raefield-Gobbo.
Taking care to add just the right sentiment into every bouquet is Tammy Hall, owner of Tammy’s Floral on the Heights.

Tammy Hall began her love affair with flowers when she was just 16. That’s when she took on the mantle of floral delivery person for her parents’ flower shop on the Heights. She’s taken a few detours since then, but always wound her way back to the blossoms.

In fact, it’s going on 11 years since Hall bought the business that has become Tammy’s Floral, taking over from her parents, Lindamay and Roger Woosley.

With delicious scents filling the store and an explosion of beauty surrounding her, Hall shares a bit about her life in bloom.

“Being a small-business owner means you wear every hat,” said Hall. “I design, deliver, clean up and manage the shop. Luckily, I have a fantastic staff that helps with everything.” She employs two full-time designers and several part-time helpers and delivery people. During holidays, Hall routinely has to pull in extended family to help.

“When it’s Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, my mom and sister (Trudy) will come and help design. My father and sons have both done deliveries.”

Hall, who was born and raised in Hood River, recognizes and appreciates the special place her business holds in people’s lives.

“You see weddings, birthdays and funerals,” said Hall. “It’s all part of life and I love being part of the community this way. I just love all the people.

“When I create something and deliver it, I can see the people are so happy. It is very fulfilling,” said Hall. While there are four big events that keep the shop operating at full capacity (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas and Prom), other times can be lean.

“It is sort of a feast or famine type business,” said Hall. Luckily for Hall and the other flower businesses in town, Hood River’s desirability as a wedding venue is bringing in more steady business between June and October.

“We have 22 weekends in the wedding season and those are now really busy,” said Hall, who notes that brides now prefer outdoor weddings instead of the previously common church venues.

“It seems like we just keep having more outdoor venues popping up here every year,” she said. Hall delivers throughout the Gorge and has decorated venues in The Dalles and across the river, as well.

When it comes to communicating, Hall believes that flowers carry a special message.

“Guys especially seem to see those dozen red roses as a way to express their love; that is the most popular (bouquet) on Valentine’s Day. They know their meaning is clear.

“Of course, the ones who forget Valentine’s Day are in here on Feb. 15 buying TWO dozen red roses. We know they are the ones in the dog house!” chuckled Hall.

As Hall tucks a sumptuous blue hyacinth into a clear round vase, her skilled hands find just the right placement within the floral still-life, and a moment of heartfelt joy can be seen rising in her smile.

Tammy’s Floral is located at 1215 12th St. Luckily for all of us, as weather warms the coolers are filling up with the delightful reminders of spring.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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