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FLOWERS & FRIENDS
by Brenda Looney

It's summertime, summertime, summertime! Lots of things to do outside and what a joy it is to get out of the house and participate in the many different activities that are out there. Many folks like to get together with family and friends and have outdoor cookouts or go camping, fishing, swimming and enjoy and have fun in the sun. After the long winter for some of us, getting outdoors is like waking up from a long nap from life.

I love to grow flowers and have turned my yard into my own personal 'haven' to come to reflect and relax. Nestled in among some violets, I have a stone plaque that reads 'An Hour in the Garden Puts Life's Problems in Perspective.' Truer words were never written. Flowers are the time honored way of celebrating a variety of life's events. We see them at joyful occasions such as weddings, graduations, anniversaries, showers, births, and also at sad events in our lives such as illnesses and funerals. Throughout our lifetime, from birth to death, flowers are there to comfort us and add to our abundant life. Flowers are the symbol that expresses love, forgiveness, joy, and sorrow. Nothing says so many things and sends as many messages as flowers do. The image of a beautiful bouquet of flowers touches our souls like nothing else can. The fragrance is taken in and savored. When life gets us down at times, we can turn to our garden to gain perspective and peace.

garden gate

This past week I experienced some stress and trials. I felt like I was tied up in a knot of problems and was losing my grip. I'm sure you've all had days or weeks like this. You feel like you don't have a lot of patience and are stressed to the max. One problem after another.....as if life were pounding on you and trying to break you down. It was on such a day as this that I completely 'lost it.' The doorbell rang and I thought to myself, "Great ... a salesman ... that's all I need now. If they aren't ringing the phone, they're at the door." I marched to the door with determination to bite someone's head off for interrupting my crisis. :-) I opened the door to the most kindly looking, elderly gentleman. He had stopped by to admire my flowers and just wanted to let me know how beautiful my gardens were. I felt so ashamed of myself for the feelings I had, and immediately calmed down and introduced myself.

We strolled out back to look at the garden and the gentleman was full of admiration and questions. I offered him some iced tea and we sat down on the rustic, willow furniture and talked. The strong perfume of the honeysuckle wafted over and I felt the tension leaving my body as I started to relax and enjoy my new visitor. The daylilies were exploding in full bloom of cheerful bright yellow. The bluebells were waving in the breeze next to the stately foxgloves and strikingly beautiful pink phlox. The new family of cardinals were flitting about and there was a huge robin in my birdbath happily splashing around. My resident wild bunny even hopped out to greet us, giving us both a startled moment. The roses were showing off in a variety of rainbow colors. Mr. Kalinowski expressed a specific interest in my re-blooming Iris and I lifted some up for him to take home with him. Being a gracious gardener himself, he promised to bring me some of his pink ones. My garden had brought me a new friend just in time to rescue me from my stress. Sitting there for the hour or so talking with this nice man, while surrounded by the beauty of the garden, did put my life's problems in perspective.

porch

I have a large variety of flowers in my garden. I quit counting at over 300. I love each and every one of them for their unique beauty and different qualities. Each season brings a different 'show' and mood. Spring brings renewal from the dismal bleakness of winter. Summer brings the vivid, bold colors, and with the crisp, cool fall temperatures comes the last brilliant show to enjoy before winter sets in.

People are just as varied in their individual, unique beauty and different qualities. I enjoy many different people for a variety of reasons. Just as some flowers thrive with little attention and others require more pampering.....so do the people who come into our lives. I love the roses, but hate the thorns that prick me when I tend to them. Like the rose's thorns, sometimes people can hurt us, but it doesn't stop us from loving them.....even from a distance at times. Some wildflowers are totally carefree and don't require much from us. Like the wildflowers, there are people in our lives who are to be cherished and enjoyed with little effort on our part. The relationship is so easy and carefree. My favorite flowers are the perennials that are there for me to enjoy, season after season. I can depend on them......like my close loved ones. Through the storms of life.....through flood, drought, sunshine and freezing temperatures.....they are there. You can count on them and the only way they will leave your side is through death. While we may mourn the loss, we cherish the time they were with us and all the joy they brought to us.

friendship fence

I am also appreciative of the annual flowers that only stay with me a short while. Like the visitor to my garden ... even that brief time does so much to lift the spirit and help put life's problems in perspective.

                              

Memories of an Abundant Life  * Family Ties  *  Flowers & Friends
Grandpas' Picture   *  In Rememberance   *  Letter to My Father
The Time of My Life   *  My Father   *   To My Husband
Sweetheart Overseas   *  My Dove   *   My Favorite Places
My Garden in Bloom   *  My Animal Children   *  No More
New Pages !!!
Christmas Gift  * Pumpkin  * Empty Nest  * Beyond Tears  * The Red Rose  * Annie's Story of Great Depression  *
Garden Pictures  * Coming Into Manhood  * I Love How You Love Me  *
Time To Give Thanks  * Autumn Memories  *  Sunset  *My First Mothers' Day  *
The Gift   *  Neighbors  *   Seasons of Life


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