Oh, yep, we are behind. Well, I am. I hope you aren’t! Today is “H” for me and hopefully a few other letters!
All of the stories are linked. Some are better as standalones than others. If you’ve missed any and want to read them, you can catch up here.
Time for Moving On
It was Angie’s idea that we might start offering the rental of flowers at local events to add character. I was skeptical but as I stand in the background of luau night at the civic center on this chilly early March Friday, I think it’s a good idea. Bright hibiscus in a variety of colors that we sell at the nursery offer a natural, tropical look to a room that has a well-disguised kiddie pool as part of a water feature surrounded by talc-soft sand and lounge chairs.
Talented dancers do the hula as a musician sings Hawaiian folk tunes while playing the ukulele. I sip happily on a mai tai. My hips sway to the music.
“Looks like you’re getting into the spirit of things,” Brian says.
“Yeah. It’s fun, isn’t it?”
“Love the hibiscus,” he says.
“I’ve sold some. I feel like an artist at a gallery opening,” I say with a laugh.
“You look good,” he says after a moment.
I smile. “Thanks.”
He steals my mai tai from my hand and takes a sip, ignoring my gasp and playful swat of my hand. “What are you doing for your birthday?”
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I may take a nice long bath in lavender salts while enjoying a glass of zinfandel and pecan fudge, and listening to Joni Mitchell.”
“As fine as that sounds, I was thinking about a nice dinner at that vegan restaurant you’ve been talking about,” he says.
“But that’s on the bay.”
He shrugs. “So?”
As if reading my mind, he continues, “I found a two-bedroom airbnb on the bay. Nice view.”
“I–.” I shut my mouth. “I want to do that.”
His eyebrows raise as if he’s as startled as I am that those words came out of my mouth. “Well, good,” he says. “I booked it but made sure I could cancel because—”
“You were sure I’d say ‘no.’”
“Yes. But I’m delightedly surprised.”
Grinning like a fool, I realize that I am too. A part of me pokes at my brain over lost time. But as my grandmother used to always say, “Can’t cry over spilled milk or bad decisions. Just clean it up and move on.” I guess maybe I’m finally moving on. And it feels ever so good.
Note: In case you didn’t realize, hibiscuses come in tropical and hardy varieties so that even in cold areas you can grow perennial hibiscus that will produce beautiful big blooms in summer. They are hardy to temperatures of -15F.