Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I Have a Thing - and Can It Get Me Into Trouble ...


Yes, I do, I have a thing about the stiff, perfectly balanced, stuck in place so solidly they can not move, floral arrangements often favored here in the States. I've tried to find an image of exactly what I mean without success, but the first picture here is a close approximation.

I don't like this kind of arrangement.

Maybe it's all those years spent living in Europe (20 years of my adult life in four segments spread over 40 years: Switzerland, England, Holland, England again), but I prefer floral displays to look like a most varied bunch of flowers you've just picked from the garden, and plunked in a vase (again, I couldn't find exactly what I mean on-line, but the second picture is at least an approximation). For those of you who watch PBS, the floral display that begins the mystery program Rosemary and Thyme, well, that's it, really.

I haven't thought about this much of late, florists here do very stiff, formulaic displays so I've given up on flowers in my house, something I was never without in Europe, but a phone call with my son this morning reminded me.

Discussing what I might like for my birthday, I was saying no flowers (because of how they would come!) ... when up popped into my mind a scene from many years ago in the church I was serving.

I got a phone call telling me that this was the year for the Odd Fellows (a sort of fraternity for adults, I suppose you could say) would be visiting our service. It seems they went to a different church each year for Odd Fellows Sunday, or some such.

Ever the agreeable soul, I said, sure, come along. (Anything to fill the empty pews in that beautiful old New England congregation seating 400, current congregation well less than a quarter of that.)

But when I got to the church Sunday morning, the place was still empty but the flowers had been delivered the day before. EEEEEEEEK! As stiff a formal display as you could imagine, a sort of carpet of flower heads, all the same height, they hadn't even had the sense to vary the dimensions!

Well, I would soon fix that. So up I stalked (sorry, bad pun) and started rearranging. The flowers made a pair of nice, height varied displays, though they were all the same bloom, and not enough greenery, so it still wasn't the best, but it sure was better.

Soon the congregation arrived, including the Odd Fellows. Massive consternation. Several members raced to the front, and began wildly rearranging my rearrangement, back into the stiff, flat horror it was before.

Only then did I notice the letters IOOF (International Order of Odd Fellows) the red flowers made against the white flowered background.

At least they never came back, there's that to be said for having a "thing".

1 comment:

uuMomma said...

What a funny story. (Who would think that a group would send their own flowers to a church service that spelled out their own acronym...seems like that group had idol problems)

My friend brings the greatest arrangements to our spring and summer pot lucks. She takes flowers and other greenery from her yard and plunks (okay, I'm sure she more than plunks them) them in a recycled jar--usually mayonaise or some such--and they are truly the most beautiful flower "arrangements" I've ever seen. I like hers best and it sounds very much like what you are talking about.

 
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