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Soup-Can Flowers
Photo: Betty Kossick
A beautiful summer morning called for welcoming the day. As I looked out the window, I spied a lovely bouquet in a soup can sitting atop the porch banister. The bright blue hydrangeas and brilliant yellow sunflowers seemed even more brilliant than the sunshine itself. But who placed the flowers there? The doorbell hadn’t rung. No knock at the door.

The sight reminded me of my childhood where a single-mom home made such things as vases uncommon. Someone had picked the can to fit the short stems, or perhaps it’s the other way around, the flowers were cut to fit the can? But someone brought them and left them as a happy surprise. Someone cared. Just a small gesture, but it took time—and a good heart.

My husband brought in the soup-can bouquet for me. Then, I decided to frame it in a rarely used candy dish, the tin can would still be the visible vase but the dish provided a pretty base for it all. I stood back, looked, and felt very loved.

Third One

Actually, this bouquet is the third one I’d received in less than two weeks—all beautiful and all from home gardens. Each bouquet contained hydrangeas. I’ve enjoyed an assortment of pinks and blues and purples. Since I’m a word person, I decided to look up the meaning of hydrangea. The word in the flower dictionary set me back: dispassion, which means without passion. And here I am excited beyond measure with my soup-can flower treasure!! So I decide that surely sunflower means something really fine, but it’s even less exciting: false riches. How dare they, whomever they were, who decided on such descriptions for these cheering flowers? Guess they never received a surprise gift of hydrangeas and/or sunflowers. If they had I’m sure that other descriptions might be in the flower dictionary like thrilled-beyond-measure for hydrangea and for the sunflower: like-a-golden-crown. There must be good reason for the choice therein that book, but I like my own.

The bonus of the bouquet is that is was gifted in a soup can. Of course, most of the time the soup can vases at my childhood homes were filled with dandelions. But sometimes there were others like sweet peas and snapdragons—and in the autumn brilliant zinnias. None of us like to feel old, even though we thank God for long life, and we acknowledge we’re older, it’s nice to enjoy times of reverie in remembering those kinds of carefree days. Sweet deeds such as garden flower-gifts help both the giver and the receiver to hold on to stay-young attitudes.

Doing a happy favor for someone may be great deal of work or almost effortless, the idea of it all is to bring joy. Is there someone that you or I can do a kindness for today, who will love it as much as I enjoyed my soup-can flowers?

P.S. I discovered my phantom flower giver, a new friend. I expect it to be a forever friendship.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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