My flowering volunteer is Ella who is 94-years-old – a true late bloomer

“Petals and Blooms-ceptional” Day at a Senior Center and an Adult Day Care Program

It was a rainy and cold day here in Philadelphia. But it was a flower-ceptional day to take flowers to a senior center and an adult day center. I had my favorite volunteer flower-giver with me – my friend Ella who is 94-years-old. We walked in with our arms full of flowers to give away for FREE to seniors and caregivers.

 

Passing out the flowers was a way to warm hearts with bright and cheery bouquets – a mix of dramatic red roses, purple and pink tulips, and a rainbow colored assortment of daisies and chrysanthemums. All donated to me FREE  – the flowers and plants were unsold  merchandise  from the store’s Easter inventory.

My motto: Let not a bouquet be thrown away while it still has a blessing in it.  (I just made that motto up – just popped into my mind.)

Flower blessings are so commonplace in outside gardens and on church altars – but to my dismay, not commonplace in  nursing homes, group homes, shelters, hospitals, and hospices.

The scent of the flowers, the brightly-colored cellophane wrapping and the beauty of each flower permeated well-being, cheer, and improved the mood of many of the participants.

The leftover flowers got a second chance of life – thankfully because they were not disposed of. The community center seniors received a surprise.  A win-win exchange.

Maybe the flowers made their day! I sure hope so. Visiting them made my day happy. I made a mental note of resolve to share this idea in as many ways as I can.

Link to Happy Flower Day main website

 

 

Things are not always ‘rosy” with people when they are sick or lonely.

I read that 1.6 million people receive Hospice Care annually. You can partner with a hospice care organization and deliver donated flowers to hospice patients. How about the nationwide Meals on Wheels program? Contact them. Ask if they would like to add a bouquet of beautiful tulips, roses, carnations and daisies – to the meals that their volunteers deliver to shut-ins.

Things are not always ‘rosy” with people when they are sick or lonely. Flowery kindness makes a difference. Flowers fill gloomy places with smiles! Your flowers have the power to say someone cares – you are not forgotten. I am not sure how many flowers I have in these carts today. (Want to take a wild guess? My guess is 175 bouquets.) How can YOU not be happy when you give people flowers? How can ANY PERSON not be happy when someone gives THEM flowers? Flowers bloom smiles, lift depression and connect strangers.

I invite you to stop and smell the roses and start your own way of giving surprise gifts of flowery cheer.

Link to main Happy Flower Day website

a whole lot of flowers in cart

www.patriciausa.com

Happy Flower Day! Oodles of flowers travel around Philadelphia and the suburbs – just flowering around!

Where is my happy place? Wherever I can make life prettier with the gift of colorful flowers. 

I took the flowers to a retirement home for retired nuns. Twenty flashy, splashy bouquets of flowers were selected by the sweet retired Sisters.  On the way out, I saw a van picking up some of the Sisters who go to an adult day care program. I asked the driver if there were people on the bus or at the center who would like flowers. “Yes, of course. These beautiful flowers will really brighten their day.”

I stopped to buy a soda at a Sunoco mini-market on Montgomery Avenue. I often carry flowers in for the cashiers. I placed 3 bouquets on the counter.  I told them that my car was unlocked,  and they could go out and “shop” in my car –  so they could take some free flowers home to their loved ones or neighbors.

Yes, flowers to go….for anyone and anywhere!

I drove to Marshall Street and took them to the busy laundromat. Julia, the manager came out to my car and helped me bring in 40 bouquets. I saw a lady waiting for a bus at the corner. She had a large tote bag. “Would you like some flowers for your kitchen table?” She smiled and said, “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, God. I really need these today. Do you have any more we can take to the senior center on George Street?”

I answered that I had twenty-five more in my back seat.  She hopped into the passenger seat of my car and off we went in that direction. Then she changed her mind about where they should go. “Let’s take them to the apartments where I live. There are a lot of sad people there – people with oxygen and cancer. Everyone likes flowers.”

I asked how to get there. We went – my new friend and me…..not sure of exactly where the flowers would go in the next five minutes. “Let’s go right in this front door.”

We went in. She put together a couple of long metal tables and instructed me, “Put all of the flowers here.”  I waited about five minutes……the flowering buzz was spreading around the building. “Flower surprise! Flower surprise!”

Flowers help us in so many ways. I don’t think this chance encounter was an accident – meeting the lady at the bus stop.  She knew the pulse of some elderly ladies – she knew where spirits needed to be lifted. I was just the follower. Following her lead to bring some unexpected joy.

I like when off I go, into the flowery, (blue and pink and yellow and purple) blue yonder.

Oh, anywhere else? Yep, to a man sitting on his porch in Philadelphia in a wheelchair, to a lady walking down the street,  and a lady leaving her office building. I simply say, “I think the world needs a little love today. I am giving away free flowers. Would you like one for your kitchen table?”

All in favor of people receiving FREE FLOWERS, say “aye!” (Those opposed, say “no.”)

Pictured here is Bob, one of my faithful senior volunteers!

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Fresh flowering essentials – just free “feast of colors” and “festive” flowers and a smile – 150 of them today!

Life can be tough. Flowers rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit. Inside every senior is an inherent appreciation for natural beauty – like a refreshing bouquet of flowers. They say a picture tells a thousand words. Here are some photos of our delivery today and some pictures from days gone by at a senior center and a senior living apartment house.  I think the pictures show flowers look good on everybody. Now fancy that!

 

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Going with the flow – what I mean is going with the flow with flowers!

I had helped a friend all day. It was 5 p.m. I thought about going to a dance tonight and then I thought about taking flowers to a nursing home. It was pretty late to call  a store for flower donations. I thought, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I was delighted to know that they still had three bags and a box of “slightly used donations” that I could recycle,  and give a repeat life for some  sunflowers, roses, orchids and daisies. John and I took them to two nursing homes and then went to Cracker Barrel for a nice dinner!

 

This nice lady in the picture below was visiting her husband in a nursing home. She was just “resting” in her husband’s wheelchair. She thanked us for the flowers and asked us if by any chance we had given flowers to her son last Saturday. John said, “Yep, that was us. I remember your son. What a nice young man.”

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A Way to Make Your Mondays More Manageable – Flowering Beauty and Smiles

Bob and I liked to take flowers to strangers who needed smiles. He was 91 years old, a Yale graduate, a World War II Naval officer, and a fun person to listen to as we made our petals and blooms rounds. We talked about pets, holiday traditions, Pearl Harbor, old fashioned niceties that he thought should come back into vogue, aging gracefully, the wife he adored, and life lessons learned in 9 decades. And he played the harmonica to “announce” that we were on our way in with the petals and blooms. bob me flowers fam restaurant

Trisha, I used to play the harmonica. What do you think of this idea? I could get it out and start practicing some patriotic tunes. Then, as we carry the flowers in to the nursing home, I can “announce” the visit by playing Yankee Doodle Dandy, God Bless America, America the Beautiful, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, The Halls of Montezuma, Stars and Stripes Forever and The Star-Spangled Banner. I am a little rusty on those songs but if I practice, I should be able to do that within a few weeks. I might need to buy another harmonica because this one does not seem to be quite right. (Bob, my 91-year-old volunteer)

When Free Flowers Brought Smiles to People in a Fast Food Restaurant…and Parking Lot

 

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Behold the glorious free flowers! I was on my way to take flowers to Fox Chase Cancer Center.  I needed to stop and use a restroom. I pulled into the parking lot of a small mall and went into the restaurant. I saw some people dining alone, a few families with kids, and folks who appeared to be grabbing a quick bite to eat on their lunch hour. I asked the manager if I could pass out SOME  flowers. He said, You can pass out ALL of the flowers. So, I did! All 40 bouquets! I guess Fox Chase cancer patients are meant to have a visit next week. One lady told me that she had cancer…..and was on her way to Fox Chase. I guess I was meant to give her flowers before she went to her appointment.  My secret to feeling happy – go a’flowering wherever and whenever I can – wherever my little KIA,  flowers, and I roam. I love the flowers, glorious flowers and how the surprise of receiving the petals blooms so many smiles.  I wish I knew a way to tell people in all 50 states how to do the same. That might FLOWER THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!

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