arrived early to the Bluegrass this year. Following a mild winter, an answer to prayers, Kentucky experienced unseasonably warm temperatures for this time of year. Winter normally stretches its icy fingers into March but not this year! One week snow and ice blanketed the ground followed by a week of sunshine and blue skies.
Spring brings many things to mind...Easter, rain showers, cleaning the house after a long and dreary winter, cooking out, laying out, starting a garden and flowers! Growing up each Spring I accompanied my Mom to Wal-Mart or a local nursery to pick out flowers to plant in the decorative cement flower pots we kept on the front porch of our modest Ranch house. My Mom rarely deviated from the red geranium and white impatient flowers she felt complimented our red brick home. Since that time, I have tried to honor her tradition by planting flowers of my own. Although my Mother seemed wed to a geranium/impatient combo I am not. I love flowers of all shades and types. I enjoy selecting different types of flowers each year to plant in our pots. Some combinations are better than others. Some flowers last longer than others. However, I enjoy the act of selecting, purchasing, planting and caring for the flowers all the same.
Instead of going to a nursery, like I did last year, I decided to check the flower selection at Wal-Mart. I am so glad I did! Standing next to the most beautiful flowers in the lot was a lovely elderly lady. She seemed friendly, so I started a conversation with her about the flowers she was looking at. I confessed my knowledge of flowers was limited and wondered if she could offer her opinion on the matter. Not only did she help me choose the prettiest flowers she also showed me how I should arrange them in the planters. I introduced myself, asked her name and thanked her for her help.
I saw her again as I was checking out and told the cashier of my experience. She said Dorothy came in the store all the time and knew her stuff. Before reaching the car, two individuals commented on how lovely my flowers were. I have Dorothy to thank for that.
My parents used to chide me about talking to strangers and I always try to exercise caution when doing so. However, I have found there are many people in the world who know a lot more about certain things than I ever will. Dorothy, due to age, experience and interest, knows a lot more about flowers than I do. I knew she could help me and I needed help. However, I didn't realize how much my asking for her help would help her. I thanked her for helping me but she thanked me for the opportunity to do so. I could tell it meant a lot to her that I sought her guidance. Both of my grandmothers have passed but, I believe, when I need a grandma or a mother or an aunt or a positive adult influence in my life it will be provided, if I am receptive. What could have been an uneventful trip to Wal-Mart turned into a lovely encounter with a temporary grandmother whose kindness and guidance made me feel loved and less alone. A tender mercy, if you will, from a loving Heavenly Father who knows how much small experiences, like this one, mean to me. Thank God for Dorothy, thank God for Spring and thank God for beautiful flowers!

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