The high school's marching band kids come around mid-winter, with cheery brochures depicting pretty pink and red and yellow blooms. Now, I know I'm not much of a gardener. But every year, I buy flats of support-the-marching-band flowers. Flats and flats and flats.
This mid-winter was no different. In fact, I bought from not one... not two... but THREE marching band kids. (A clarinetist, a color guard member, and trumpeter, for the record.)
Why? Well, by mid-winter, who isn't a sucker for a cheery brochure filled with pictures of pretty flowers?
Plus, I'm a sucker for kids who come up to my door trying to look cool, even indifferent... yet still looking a bit hopeful, even eager... as they pedal Girl Scout cookies and Boy Scout popcorn and coupons-I'll-never-use-for-stuff-I-don't-want-at-merchants-I-never-visit for wrestling/cheerleading/track/football/cross country. And flowers for marching band. After all, our daughters (one now in college, the other a recent college graduate) were those kids, plying our neighbors and friends and relatives who were ever-so-kind and patient. So I figure it's my turn to do the buying, now.
And, yeah, I'm a little sentimental. Our kids are long past the stage of selling stuff for their activities. And as much of a pain as it was to help them coordinate it all, I miss those days. During our oldest daughter's junior year of high school, I was even in charge of the marching band's flower sale. (She played trombone.) Nothing says spring like a high school gym literally filled from bleacher to bleacher, basketball hoop to basketball hoop, with flats of begonias, petunias, impatiens and marigolds.
Nothing says oh-God-why-did-I-agree-to-this like contemplating those flats and knowing I was in charge of making sure we had enough of every single variety to match every single order... those orders, by the way, numbering in the thousands.
But I'm still just a wee bit sentimental about those days.
So, I bought flats of flowers. And more flats. And more or less forgot about them until... they showed up on my porch.
And my heart fell.