Flowers bring me joy.

I spent my first two years of college in Boston. There was a man who sold flowers out of his van on Commonwealth Avenue. He was a ray of sunshine and he was there seemingly every day. His bouquets were fresh and cheap. Rumor had it that he was a man who had come into a fortune and decided he wanted to spend it making other people happy in this very simple way. Poor college student that I was, I bought them whenever I was able, but I promised myself that when I was officially grown-up, I would always have fresh flowers in my house.

There have been times since I’ve (theoretically) become an adult that fresh flowers were a luxury that wasn’t in the budget. There have been times when I was so sad that I forgot the happiness that they might bring me. In my ex-house, I had a lovely garden, and could seemingly grow anything. In the Bungalow, my every effort to create flower beds or grow vegetables has failed. I did manage a few tiny tomatoes this year in pots that spent most of September indoors due to unseasonably chilly weather, but that’s it.

M buys me flowers on occasion, and it’s always a lovely surprise. Many of his bouquets – and some single blooms from K – sit in dried loveliness in old vases on top of dressers, or hang in bunches from ceiling hooks in the sunroom. As we prepare to move, I expect that they will be turned to compost, as they wouldn’t stand the trip, and moving is a good time to part with some things. One thing you didn’t know about me: I’m exceptionally sentimental. I’m working very hard on letting go of things that I’ve saved, especially if I can’t recall why I’ve saved them.

The Retreat is at an altitude that will make growing flowers a challenge. But there are rose vines climbing up the front stucco, and window boxes at the ready for planting, so there is hope yet. There is always hope in the Spring. I think it’s time, as my life changes, to hold onto one thing — that promise I made to myself 40 years ago on sunny afternoon in Boston.