Sunday, June 29, 2008
Meanwhile, my brothers and I are increasingly concerned about the QOB who seems to be regressing, not getting better. My mother was insisting that she was in charge and everything was being handled but unfortunately this turns out not to have been true at all. My mother is in over her head, here, and therefore my brother and I are now taking over, which means I have to get on the ball and call a bunch of doctors and therapists and so on and make appointments and find classes and sign them up and, also, spend Saturdays looking at houses with the QOB, despite the fact that she says she won't stay here. But, as my brother keeps trying to tell her, if she goes back to New York she won't last, well, the proverbial New York minute. It's scary and sad and frustrating and she and my mother are kind of acting like seven year olds locked in a power struggle.
AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AND WAY LESS DEPRESSING!
On the brighter, or at least weirder side, yesterday S & J & H and I all went out to get flowers. You see, at the Museum's silent auction, S and I went in on a certificate for what was billed (in flowery phrases with lots of flower pictures at that) as a pick your own flowers, get four buckets of flowers, deal. We spent $25 each and won it - the value was supposed to be $200, so, you know, good deal. And I thought I could bring Mom and the QOB out there to pick flowers, which, I thought, they would enjoy. Well.
I called up the flower lady on Friday to schedule a visit on Saturday. "You'll have to get buckets," she told me, "They have to be the 3 gallon buckets from Dollar General."
"Okay," I said, thinking to myself that this was rather specific.
"What time are you coming?" she asked then,
"Afternoon," I said, since that would give me Saturday morning to veg out a bit before I picked up the Ladies.
"No!" she said, "The flowers should be picked first thing in the morning. They don't like being cut later."
"I'm sorry, " I said firmly, beginning to get a bit irritated, "We have to come in the afternoon." So we hung up and she said she'd email directions, which she did, along with a note saying that since we were coming at the wrong time, she thought it would be better if she just picked the flowers herself and we could come by and pick them up.
"No." I emailed her back, "The whole point of this is picking flowers."
Well, my mother and the QOB refused to go, when it came down to it. They said they were too old to traipse around in the heat picking flowers and good luck, kids. I told my mom that, okay, I would bring them flowers and also all my friends to visit and that seemed like a good solution. So J & S & I all met at H's house and off we went, through the river and over the woods, into. . . a subdivision! Yes! A fancy, fairly upper middle class newish subdivision, but a subdivision indeed, with nary a farmers field of flowers in view. The flower lady's house was indeed surrounded by gardens but not, you know, huge or totally extraordinary gardens. Suburban gardens.
She met us at the driveway and took all four of our buckets to fill with warm water. "The water," she explained, "Has to be warm or hot. And also," she added, "I don't let people pick or cut flowers. You follow me around and point at what you want and I will cut it. No poppies or roses. I'm saving them for a wedding. And I don't think I have enough flowers for four buckets. You'll have to come back later." She came back out with two buckets and started walking; like obedient ducklings, we followed her.
She likes to talk, the flower lady. We listened. We learned that some flowers should be plunged briefly into boiling water before putting in a vase and that all the flowers must stay in the buckets for at least three or four hours before arranging and that you have to mash some stems and that you have to cut them on a diagonal, some of which I knew, like the mashing and diagonal, and some of which I'm not sure I believe, like the boiling water. We learned that she isn't going to have roses anymore. We learned that we had just missed all the best flowers. This being Asheville, we of course figured out all the people we knew in common. And we noticed that if we pointed at a flower she didn't actually want to part with, she would just sort of not see us and keep on moving. It made us feel guilty, because, well, it was her garden. Around her house. And here we were taking all the flowers and, you know, even though we'd paid for this, it all seemed kind of odd. So we didn't get a lot of flowers and, truth be told, there weren't a whole lot to get. It is an inbetween time for flowers, this is true.
Finally it started to rain and we took our two buckets, which weren't exactly what you'd call full and went off to my mom's house to distribute flowers. Then we went on to H & Zs and distributed more and drank a couple beers and ate some delicious deviled eggs and then I went on home to watch a scary movie and go to bed.
Did you notice the mystery clue in this account? Did you? Yes! Flower lady be stealin' mah bukkits! Indeed. Indeed, she did. We went in with 4 buckets - and we came out with 2.