Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dances with the daffodils

In my family, I am the least creative one. I failed art in school, I cannot visualise how our house will look after the renovation, I have very little concept of colour except on clothes, I find it difficult to think up creative activities for my children. My brothers could draw, paint, do photography, make elaborate bows and wrapping for Christmas (oh that's the other thing. I cannot wrap). In a nutshell, I am least like my mother.

My mother once drew up plans for a doll house and got a carpenter to build it for me. She also decorated my birthday parties on a dime, when I was a kid. And most of all, she did all the flowers for my wedding, from the pews, to the car to my impossible bouquet, where I demanded cascading orchids that would trail half way down my gown. When my brothers were dating, she would do their flowers for Valentine's Day and for us for Teachers' Day. She was a whiz when it came to art and flowers were her forte.

My mother is in London for the next 2 weeks. She's been there a week already. And I miss her. It creeps up on me in the strangest of ways. It was the godparents' wedding anniversary. 5 years ago, when it was their 30th anniversary, we bought them 100 roses and Mom magicked up 2 bouquets, one to be presented to each godparent. Yesterday was their 35th anniversary and I needed, once again to get flowers. But Mom wasn't around. So, reaching into the deep recesses of my brain, I had to call upon lessons that I had blatantly ignored but somehow fortunately osmosised into my brain and figure out how to do what she usually does.

I knew I had to go to the nursery. Mom poo-poohed at buying flowers from the florist because it was daylight robbery. So, off to the nursery we went. Unfortunately with 2 children in tow, we couldn't go to the one that she would have gone to. We went to the one at Rid-out Garden, thankfully in the morning and not the afternoon where trees were crashing down because of the lightning storm. But it was far inferior to its main sister branch. Far inferior because in their sub-arctic cold room was only 4 bunches of roses, 2 bunches of lilies, 3 bunches of gerbers and daisies and some bunches of what Mom called 'filler' flowers like babies' breath. In my head, there was Mom giving instructions. "Roses have bloomed! Even in the cold. That means, they'll die very fast in the heat!" "Daisies are not anniversary flowers!" So what was left were the lilies. Lilies it was. With purplish 'filler' flowers to go along with it. Then came, how in the world do I assemble it? The most I would do was just go with Mom to the nursery to pick out the flowers. I never hung around long enough to see what she did with them and how they became beautiful bouquets without too many leaves and thorns.

But like I said, Mom wasn't here so I had to figure out stuff.

1. I needed a vase.
2. Or I needed some wrapper.
...both of which were not sold at the nursery. Improvise.
3. Buy tallish flower pot.
4. Buy flower sponge so that it isn't a case of water sloshing around.
5. Strip the leaves of the lilies.
6. Cut them to length (realising that I needed to PLAN what I was going to do with them first and thankfully, lilies were VERY long-stemmed so there was much length to play around with.)
7. Soak the flower sponge. (Here, I got the twins involved. They poked holes in the sponge so that the sponge soaked water faster. And they watched the bubbles form and escape from said sponge).
8. Stick the lilies in, take a step back and look if I've created a jungle with wild lilies thanks to the 'filler' flowers. (I think Mom said something about perspective)
9. Fret and worry that it's not good enough.
10. Almost throw a fit because I no longer live in a house where ribbons are in abundance.
11. Rifle through what little belongings I have to find ribbon.
12. Discover wedding bells and decoration used at our wedding with ribbons still attached.
13. Bunch them together, tie them up, use some more nylon ribbon, tie it round the vase as a final touch.
14. Decide it has got to do and wish Mom was here to save the day.

According to Packrat, it didn't look too bad. Plus it was quite large. The godparents were impressed so that was good.

This is what Mom did for me.

This is what I did for the godparents. A far cry.

A side note, I can't be a florist. I was wheezing and itchy from all the pollen. I also recall Mom saying florists always cut those off, but I was running out of time. And so, well, I suffered.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:30

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