Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

the day I delivered blooms for mother's day...to honour my own

It's blooms day! Mother's day.

Even though I grew up in a family who didn't make a big deal about 'hallmark' days such as this one, ever since this day 10 years ago, I hold this day in high respect. I'm so grateful for Mother's Day because it was the last time I saw my mom...talked with her, made dinner for her, spent too little time with her...before she passed away.


Mother's day, Father's day, Valentine's day...many say these days are trite and trivial, created by commercial greed. But, I disagree. I think these are days for opportunity...we make them into what we want to make them, just like Christmas or birthday celebrations.

I think we can use these days to show (extra) love to our moms and dads, or valentines and friends. I mean, why the heck not? Love is good to throw around a little here and there!


On these days people usually make the effort to see or telephone or facetime that special person; they write cards, say 'I love you' (which might not be said every day) and they just plain and simply, take the time. Or hey, they might not...to each his own.

But I thankfully took the time, on this day ten years ago, not knowing how sick my mom was, not knowing that she would pass away two weeks later, because it was mother's day. I wrote her everything I wanted to say, I took the time to think of a small gift which I thought would make her smile, and I spent time with her and told her I loved her (again).

It had been a busy time for my little business, and I had been traveling to see a new man I was in a relationship with, and if it hadn't been for mother's day, I honestly might not have made the effort at that particular time to be with her. Two weeks later we were called to her bedside in the ICU where she passed away just hours later.


So, for this year, in honour of my mom on mother's day, and not believing that it has been ten years since I've seen her and told her that I love her, I wanted to do something special. How much more special can delivering flowers be, to quaint, beautiful flower shops, up and down the Rhine, knowing that they will most likely end up in the hands of other much-loved mothers?

And let me tell you, it was a great day!


It was a few days ago, amidst the flower industry's busiest week of the year. With my very good friend, whose family owns a wholesale flower company, I drove to their warehouse just before 5am. We spent the next 8 hours packing and delivering big bunches of beautiful blooms, such as peonies, Gerbera daisies, hydrangeas, and a whole assortment of roses in all shades of pinks, reds, yellows and whites.


After packing the various orders, we loaded the truck and in the dark, early morning hour, we crossed the Rhine with the ferry and proceeded to wind our way through the vineyard-covered hills of the Rheingau, the district on the north side of the river.


The delivery route included many unique, independently-owned florists and small garden centres, either set among narrow, cobblestone lanes of town centres, or out on the hills adjacent to a beloved-ly kept-up cemetery. The most fun parts of the day, along with just being among gorgeous flowers, was watching the customers' faces light up as I followed my cheery friend into each little shop. Her family has cultivated and cared-for each of their customers with such focus, often driving kilometers out of the way just to deliver one much-needed bloom.


I was along for just such a special delivery, for a unique customer (who is at this point, more of a friend) at an ultra-special location: Schloss Vollrads. This castle and its immaculately-kept gardens are located high above the Rhine, north of the quaint town of Ostrich-Winkel. And because I was along on this particular morning, the gentrified caretaker, who greeted us with a nod of his greyed head and a generous smile, opened the castle doors to us for a quick, spontaneous tour.

Oh what lovely treats arise when someone gratefully receives flowers handed over with a smile!


And how fitting since my momma also loved herself some castle time (well, who doesn't really?). So here's one for you too, mom. Happy mother's day...every day. Love, Nina


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