Well, enough of that.
This weekend, I went to Philadelphia (about an hour and a half from here by car) with my big sister and my mom. My sister had members-only preview tickets to the International Flower Show. She has been going to this event every March for about ten years or so, and this was my first time accompanying her.
My sister knows the City of Brotherly Love pretty well, since she married a Philadelphian twenty-five years ago and, at the beginning of their marriage, she spent a lot of time driving back and forth to visit her mother-in-law at the holidays. I don't know the first thing about Philadelphia, so I reverted to my three-year-old self and just followed my big sister around for about twenty-four hours.
Here are Mom and Patty at the entrance to the show.
I have a coworker who will be a bride in June, and she asked me to be on the lookout for white roses and hydrangeas. Of course, I saw every flower and combination of flowers on earth EXCEPT for white roses and hydrangeas. Here are some of the flowers I did see:
Another orchid - isn't this one spectacular?
There was also a beautiful vegetable garden which I found quite inspiring. I am hoping my shoulder will be better by April, because I have now caught the gardening bug, and I am eager to get some seeds into the ground and get my summer salads growing as soon as I can.
The best part of my weekend was seeing my childhood friend Tavis, who lives in Philadelphia and was gracious enough to get a babysitter so she could meet me, Mom and Patty for breakfast on Saturday. I hadn't seen Tavis in about thirty years, and we picked right up where we had left off in eighth grade. The hug she gave me was one of the best hugs I've had in years, and it didn't hurt at all.
It's been a cold and rainy Sunday back at home. We're all a little sad, because my Uncle George (actually not a blood relation, but my brother's godfather and a very dear family friend) passed away very early this morning after a rough battle with Alzheimer's. We went to church today and, in accordance with late-winter Anglican tradition, we "buried the alleluias." The kids wrote "alleluia" with brightly-colored markers on strips of paper, and then they hid the papers away. Lent, our somber season, begins on Wednesday, so there will be no more "alleluias" until Easter. Not that anyone feels like uttering that word anyway, with Uncle George gone.
I don't want to end on a sad or depressing note, so I will tell you one quick encouraging thing: the yard is full of signs of winter being over. Everywhere, there are little snowbells and tiny inch-high sprouts of crocus leaves. Their reappearance has me thinking about the pervasive role flowers play in our lives. They are the first heralds of spring. They are a symbol of joy for a bride and of comfort to a mourner. And sometimes, their mere presence can be an excuse to reunite old friends.
Have a good week.