Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The End of the Growing Season...Almost #OurAuthorGang

I've been a floral designer for over thirty years. As far back as I can remember, I loved picking sweet peas and dandelions that graced my beautiful mudpies. Little did I know when I was six years old that I would spend half of my life in the floral design/sales profession.

One of the wonderful things about working with flowers was that the flowers changed as the seasons changed.

Winter holidays such as Christmas and Valentine's Day brought out the reds and whites visible not only in flowers but plants as well.

March brought many small pots of Shamrocks and green carnations, while April was filled with spring flowers, bulb gardens, and Easter Lilies.

Summer filled with hanging baskets, outdoor planters, graduation and Memorial Day arrangements.

Now, we are at my favorite time of year, pre-autumn. It's a time when the normal growing season winds down and beautiful pots of mums take the place of the petunias and marigolds that have given color all summer. Sugar maples turn ablaze and acorns drop.

Jillian Stevens Halloran Dempsey owned Special Occasions, a flower shop in Acorn Hills. She sells her shop to her older son and begins living life her way in the 7th and final book of my Acorn Hills Series.  Here's a little snippet as she recounts her life...

       "Life isn’t about making money. It isn’t about social status. It’s about being kind and making a difference in the lives of those around you. It’s about doing good things, not expecting anything in return, and being all the better for it.
Thank God for Mom and Dad teaching me these important life rules. At the time I didn’t appreciate it, but as I wandered the path of my life, their words became my mantra.
I look back in time and shake my head. It’s a wonder I survived living in our haze-filled home. I went through most of my life in this weed fragranced stupor. It amazes me that I graduated high school with honors and continued on to college! Mind you, I never had to take a toke, I was high from the residual smoke that filled the house!
Marijuana was a normal diet at my house. My parents, God love them, considered the leafy green plants part of the basic food group. They were open about using around my brother and I, offered it to us if we wanted to try it, and in some instances supplied a couple well known Acorn Hills businessmen, as well as a few housewives.
Honestly, I wouldn’t change my life for anything. I learned good morals and values from two of the best people in the world. My parents, Bob and Sylvia Stevens, were both highly respected psychologists in the community.
After my brother, Christian, was born, Mom and Dad decided they needed to spend more time with us kids.
       As you well know in the 70’s women were just beginning to find their voice. My mother certainly found hers. There were very few female psychologists in the field of crisis counseling. Eventually she sacrificed her professional office to be a stay at home mom.
Dad decided to try something new and work from home. He talked Mom into joining him. They had the best of both worlds…they were home, could parent us kids during our teenage years, and still work to put food on the table.
We were a normal, middle-class family…you know pets, house, fence, and kids involved in any and everything possible. Mom and Dad had weekly card club at our house, Chris did his thing in the garage with cars or his makeshift band. I…well, I spent my last four years of school in the journalism department at Acorn Hills High."