Today my mother-in-law invited me over to pick some hydrangeas from the neighbors’ yard.
We wandered into the back garden and there they were, a remarkable pink variety. A smile appeared on my face as I was instantly brought back to the days of bunching hydrangeas in the nursery with my dad.
Arms full, I jumped into my muggy car, and placed the gorgeous blooms onto the passenger seat. With the windows rolled down and my foot on the gas, I headed homeward. I couldn’t drive fast enough; I was so excited to add some color and life to our little square (we were in desperate need of fresh flowers for the coffee table).
I parked in the first spot I could find and grabbed the bunch of flowers when, suddenly, I realized that the heat of my car had slightly wilted the petals. Drat!My excitement was tainted.
I walked straight to the kitchen sink, reached for my favorite vase, and tried to perk them up with some fresh water – it wasn’t quite cutting it.
Suddenly, a light bulb went on in my head. What had Dad always told me about wilty hydrangeas…
Immerse the whole flower (bloom and all), head first, into cold water for about two hours. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the improvement of their appearance.
I double checked the timing on his website ( www.weddinghydrangea.com ) to be sure.
I did what he said and was shocked with the results.
My dad is so smart! I felt insanely proud to be the daughter of such an amazingly intelligent and passionate man.
My dad is wise and insightful in all areas of life. He also has a love and fascination for flowers that he has kindly imparted to his wife and daughters.
Hydrangeas will forever remind me of you, Daddy.
They are the flowers of my youth; the flowers that overflow the greenhouses below our home on our ranch in Carpinteria.
I can close my eyes now and wander into my memories … calling to mind times I threw open the greenhouse doors just to peer in at the work of my dad’s hands. Bright and brilliant! Colors of many kinds filled the room. Shades of blue, purple, white, green, and pink as far as the eye could see.
Oh how I loved to mosey down those long aisles, deep into the “forest” (as I liked to call the taller hydrangeas plants on the far side of the greenhouses).
I want to tell you, Dad, that I think you’re incredible.
You followed a dream of owning a nursery filled with beautiful flowers to share with the world. You pursued a difficult path in the flower business and have overcome a lot of trials. You haven’t given up even as the times grew harder.
You are the most diligent worker I know. You have faithfully supported a family and have given so much of yourself.
You have continued to trust God to prosper the work of your hands.
I have faith that He will do what He has promised you.
Your perseverance has produced character and with it true Hope.
And now, I promise, to myself and to you, to pursue my writing dreams, rigorously, as you have pursued your dreams.
You’re a great role model Daddy.
I love you.