Random Observations 17

One never knows from whence inspiration will come. Today, it came from Wells, England.

My very dearest friend, Alys, a wonderful cook and master baker, found a recipe for the American dish called Green Bean Casserole. I thought it was my responsibility as a true, patriotic American, to tell her – ugh! We don’t eat that stuff anymore. If you’ve had it once, you’ve had enough of it. If we are of ‘a certain age’, I’m certain we could all write books, the titles of which would be “Green Bean Casseroles I Have Known”. It is one of those ‘traditions’ about which passing I do not lament.

And then there’s this. I had a wonderful gentleman friend, Les – an Englishman and submariner – who used to make me laugh whenever he spoke about English food. It seems to this American that the English have a lot of ‘food rules’. I was rather forcefully informed that one never eats toast that is dark; one must always put the clotted cream on the toast first and then the ‘conserve’ or the lemon curd. Only someone ‘naff’ would reverse the order. With rules in mind, I share with you the video Alys shared with me this morning:

I don’t consider myself an ‘animal person’. I would never hurt one but aside from the (a little more than casual) desire for a French bulldog, I don’t have much interest. Now I’ve discovered Bondi (pronounced bond – eye) Vet out of Australia. There are several vets that the program features but more so Dr. Chris Brown – who is the poster child of “My word, what a hunk!” But he’s a nice guy, family man, quick to laugh and he loves animals. They have another Bondi Vet production called The Vet on the Hill – out of London in the UK. As I watch these videos, I’m struck by the great big hearts of those folks who treat animals big and small. I don’t know that I could do it. I thought the human body could produce some pretty disgusting things but we’ve got nothing on the animal kingdom. Please be advised, these programs show more than we’re apt to see on US vet programs – they show their animal operations and while I’m not squeamish, they can be a little – what is that phrase our cousins across the Pond use … ‘eyewatering’.

I’m still not talking about the you-know-what and now I’m not talking about the non-election, either. What will be, will be and all we can do is hope and pray. A lot of praying.

A Plea

Excuse me for stating the obvious – we’re losing. We’re losing the important things, the things that we’ve always held deep in our hearts. Civility, manners, traditions, all the things that make America – and Americans.

There’s something else we’re losing. It’s grievous. It’s lamentable. It’s just plain sad. It has become something wistful, some lovely lacey memory of what was.

Flowers. Yes. Flowers. There’s a whole tradition of flowers on Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and for funerals. They are predictable and virtually mandatory and have a certain ‘ho-hum’-ness to them. But your lady love, your significant other, your big (or little) sister, that favorite aunt, the little old lady that lives next door all alone. Think for just a moment – these people are important to your life and in your life. Shouldn’t they get flowers for no particular reason other than you love them and you think of them every day?

I have rediscovered the joy of jigsaw puzzles. I find that of the wide selection of ‘scenes’ to put together, I’m drawn to the ones with flowers. This has been such a terrible year – misery of one kind or another wherever we look. A lot of people are scared or depressed, or afraid of the future or any combination thereof. But there’s something very earthy, very calming about flowers. I would even say there’s something permanent about flowers – yes, they die but there’s always the assurance that they will come back again next spring, summer, autumn. They are bright, fresh, a statement of lasting beauty in the world. There are things that are untouched by politics or hatred or illness and flowers represent that. Life is beautiful. We forget that. God would not have created the range of colors, shapes, textures, fragrances, sizes because He had nothing to do one day. He created them to give us joy in simple things.

St. Matthews Gospel, chapter six, verses 25-29 “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Ever seen a field of wildflowers? Texas bluebells? It stops you in your tracks and you take five minutes out of your busy day and just gaze on it. It’s miraculous. It’s stunning. It’s humbling.

My husband has bought me flowers once in 24 years. He says they’re too expensive and then they die. What he doesn’t know – what YOU don’t know – is what it means to women. When the doorbell sounds or the knocker has clapped, she goes to the door and there’s a floral bouquet. She never even notices the delivery person – all she sees is the flowers. She closes the door and carries the flowers like they are crystal and diamonds. She looks around to determine the best setting to place them (she doesn’t ‘put’ them, she ‘places’ them – there’s a big difference). She has to find ‘the’ place for them – they have to be where she can easily see them from throughout the house but it also has to be a place where anyone coming into the house will notice them. Because she wants the world to know that someone loved her so much, they sent her flowers. What you don’t know is she’s suddenly twenty again and the world is before her and even if it’s pouring rain, in her heart and in her mind she’s in a place of love and light and beauty. For this moment in time, she’s lifted up.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what flower she likes. We like all of them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what her favorite color is; there are so many colors that there’s bound to be a ‘special’ color in the arrangement that you never even guessed at.

What do YOU get from your financial investment? Shining eyes. Joyful surprise, a different kind of kiss. You get to overhear her tell her friends, “No! No reason! They’re beautiful!” What you ‘lost’ in dollars you can bank in your heart – you showed appreciation for all she does and for the lengths she would go to because she loves you and I’m not up on the exchange rate but I suspect that’s worth about a thousand times whatever the dollar amount was.

Here is my plea – it takes so little time. It is so easy to do online. Send her flowers. Just on account of because.


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