My chiropractor planted several rows of colorful zinnias, celosias, sunflowers, and bachelor’s blue buttons among other varieties earlier this spring. They bloomed and lit up the field like a box of crayons.

So, my younger sister, Geri, and I volunteered to gather countless vases and buckets of flowers to entertain about 20 women (and their nurses and treating staff that day) with a “make and take” flower arrangement in the afternoon.

My daughter, Dr. Chloe, helped cut zinnias of all colors and a variety of gomphrena species from the field a few hours before “flower arranging show time,” as 18-month-old John took a quick nap nearby.

As we arrived at the retirement and memory care community carrying buckets of flowers and greenery, the smiles started to show color. Some women jumped in without asking, and some asked for help. But it was a blessing to use all learning methods – kinesthetic, visual and auditory.

Some are starting to pick their favorite flower color. Some started asking, “What do I do first?” We answered him with a smile and said: Choose one of these vases.

Each flower arrangement was unique and beautiful.

Perhaps one of the funniest moments was when we noticed one of the residents starting to offer advice and help others with their arrangements. Her son told us she was a professional florist, and it showed. Her arrangements were of different textures and complimentary colors in a variety of heights. I noticed that before cutting each flower stem she places it in the vase or container so she knows exactly where the flower will be and how it will look in her design.

When Nurse Marsha stopped by and asked if we would do an arrangement for her, we agreed and I asked her to pick three favorite flowers to help us get started. She chose the sunflowers and then had to go back to work in another area of ​​the building. When I asked our resident florist if she would like to finish Marsha’s arrangement, she agreed.

As I placed the vase and three flowers Marsha had chosen in front of our expert arranger, she looked at the sunflowers, furrowed her eyebrows together thoughtfully, then looked at me and said, “Did these flowers go into this arrangement?”

“Yes, Marsha told us last week that she loves sunflowers, so we made sure to get some for her and anyone who wanted some,” I answered cheerfully.

“Well, that’s disappointing,” she replied dryly.

She explained that she hated working with Sunflower. But she did a great arrangement anyway.

And it made the room explode with smiles and laughter.

Janet Hummel Mangas grew up on the east side of Greenwood. A resident of the Center Grove area, she and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to (email protected).

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