I guess it was always – subconsciously – on my bucket list; working in a florist shop.
Several of my non-working friends help deliver flowers on Valentine’s Day, and I always thought, how fun would THAT be? Yet I was stuck at my office (the thankful recipient of many flowers from my husband) while they were blessing others on the busiest holiday for florists.
But I’m retired, so this year I checked the florist shop experience off my bucket list, jumping at the chance to help a local florist.
The shop was busy with phone orders, deliveries, and walk-in orders all day long. Other extras, like me, helped in the shop and made deliveries, so I even made a few friends thanks to this bucket-list adventure. Added benefits were getting to enjoy the aroma of thousands of flowers. I love Valentine’s Day – it’s one day when everyone seems to think about love, and as the old song says, I was “blessed to be a blessing.”
The owner of the florist shop and I are both new residents of this small town. A delightful 20-something gal, she’s professional and caring. Her eye for design was evident and she’s meticulous at her craft, providing top quality flowers and adding a special unique touch to each arrangement. She wore the skin off her fingers – literally – stripping leaves off greenery stems and thorns off roses as she put together amazingly beautiful creations. It was a joy just to watch her work.
I have no idea how many arrangements were made but I know this young florist pulled an all-nighter, going home at 5am to catch a few winks before the store opened just four hours later on Valentine’s Day. Yet even with very little sleep, she remained positive and cheerful as she continued to arrange the most unique and beautiful creations, blessing so many with her God-given talent.
I also gained a sense of this community after four days working downtown, and I was impressed. People were supportive and encouraging to this new business owner. The customers were a mix of young and old, dress-shirt professionals and flannel-shirt tradesmen, and I loved interacting with them and helping them find the perfect item for their special someone. I’m a people person, so it’s actually my interaction with some of the customers which was most enjoyable.
Blessed to be a Blessing
Early in the week I took a phone call from a very busy business woman. She was only able to call me between meetings, and it took a couple phone calls to accomplish what it was she wanted – an arrangement for her parents. She wanted it to be just perfect. Between her phone calls, the partially completed order form remained on the counter when an older gentleman came in to place an order. Recognizing his name, I discreetly turned over the order, hiding the names of he and his wife. They would end up with not one, but two arrangements – one he was choosing for his wife and another for the two of them from their daughter. How sweet!
Then, there were the two men on two different days with the same last name. I asked the first gentleman if he was related to a friend of mine. “Yes, that’s my sister,” he said. I’d heard he was in the construction business in this area, but hadn’t met him. As he picked out something for his wife, we visited about his sister and his 98-year-old mother (whom I’d met years ago). She’s still going strong. The next day his son came in to find something for his wife. True gentlemen, these two, taking good care of their wives.
A young dad came in with his two sons to pick something for their mom and their sister. “The pinker the better,” the dad said as he ordered his daughter’s flowers in her favorite color. And, the excitement in those little boys was genuine. “Get this one, Dad! Get this one!” They could hardly contain themselves while picking a bouquet for their mom.
One of my favorite customers was a beautiful elderly woman, nicely dressed, and a bit subdued. She was friendly, yet quiet, and not totally sure what she wanted when she walked through the door. After asking a few questions, she decided she’d take just one single long-stemmed rose. No vase was needed, she said. Then, as an afterthought, she asked the florist to prepare two. As she waited, I assured her she’d be happy with the work being done in the back room, adding that someone would certainly be blessed. The woman hesitatingly explained that one of the roses was going to the grave of her late husband. “The other,” she added, “is for me. He would want me to have one.” She quickly turned away to avoid revealing tear-filled eyes. Mine were brimming, too. “Yes, he would,” I agreed. “I’m glad you got one for yourself, too.” Bless her heart.
Another favorite ‘bucket-list’ moment involved an elderly customer who came in with a grin. When asked if we could help, his answer was short and sweet. “I need you to help me keep getting goodnight kisses.” “And, just how long have you been GETTING these goodnight kisses?” I asked, teasingly. “Oh, about 58 years now!” I told him he must be doing something right, and helped him find the perfect arrangement for his bride. Way to go, Sir! You made my day.
Crafting Words, not Flowers
My four-day stint in a florist shop was unbelievable and I can now check it off my bucket list. I sure hope the new girl in town doesn’t forget this old girl in town when she needs extras at the shop, because I thoroughly enjoyed blessing others. As a writer, I’m back to staring at a computer screen, where I meticulously craft together words – not flowers – hoping for the same outcome. Blessed to be a blessing!