Happenstance - finding just the right vase

Happenstance - finding just the right vase

A gentleman came into the store on a mission. I looked up from the counter and asked if I could help him. He said yes, he needed a vase. He described how he was having dinner with his wife next door at Dufour and wanted to have a fresh bouquet and card waiting for her on the table when they arrived. I showed him the pottery vases we had and he knew immediately which one would work. He had grabbed a bouquet of flowers on his ride down from KBPT from a grocery store and had hoped to find an antique store he could run into quickly on his way to place the flowers in. He was surprised and relieved to find us right across the street from the restaurant when he pulled in. I asked him if he had the flowers in his car. I told him it was his lucky day and I would love to arrange the flowers for his wife in the vase he had purchased. It took but a second for him to leave and then return from his car with the large bundle of roses, chrysanthemums, hydrangeas, lilies, sweet peas, and other little blooms. I asked him if he wanted it to sit low so it didn’t over power their table. He said yes with certainty.

I unwrapped the stems and took the largest bloom first to set the shape after I had half filled the vase with water. We began talking as I cleared stems and cut them into the garbage by the register. I used every stem to create the arrangement, knowing it would be uniquely beautiful from all his efforts to make the dinner special for his wife’s birthday. We began chatting and quickly found our common denominator. He was a chef, he had grown up working in the restaurant industry. I nodded and begun asking him questions as I continued to fill the vase. His answers were surprising, I was happy for him. He had landed in a position with an iconic restaurant in which he could put family first. The restaurant was working for his needs as well as he doing the same for the diner’s experience. We exchanged war stories and battle wounds and discussed what we loved most about growing up in the industry, and also what we learned about life from its unique environment and expectations of its employees.

As I finished his arrangement, my heart felt lighter. Flowers will always hold a special space for me in my heart. I’ve begun daydreaming of the gardens I will begin to tackle and bring back in the spring. A lot of the work will be to reclaim space and redefine the outlines of where they once spilled over. I had posted the image of the finished vase for his wife’s birthday dinner on IG and facebook and it soon took on a life of its own. I was surprised to see the overwhelming response and happy to be reminded of all the people who have been connected to A Little Something in South Berwick over the years. This little store has some life left in her yet.

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