From the moment I learned what a peony was it became my favorite flower.

i <3 peonies.
I have tried to grow them for four years now, I’ve tried different dirt, different locations and different bulbs.

Nothing.

Driving home today I saw dozens of peony bushes drooping and bending under the weight of their huge showy blooms after the rain.

I’ve decided that peonies aren’t really my favorite flower anymore, they’re difficult and they give up too  easily.

Sure they’re pretty, but should looks really outweigh simplicity and ease? I don’t think so.

I’m now considering the petunia as my favorite, they’re the one flower I can keep alive on a consistent basis. Hardy little blooms, petunias are.

****
Vivi lost her damn mind in the produce section today. I was in too deep and too close to being done to abandon everything and walk out.

Grocery store. OMG. Solidarity please.
I think I had high blood pressure for the first time in my life this afternoon.

Vivi insisted on being held as we walked out, but here’s the thing, one cannot hold at sobbing toddler in one arm and navigate a very full shopping cart with the other arm.

I tried, it’s not possible.

Which led me to pushing the cart with both hands while Vivi sobbed in the seat.

I really wish someone would have offered to help, I probably could have asked for it, I probably should have asked for it. But I didn’t.

Remember when baggers used to push your cart out to your car for you? I really could have used that today.

*****

When Addie and I were in New York I was torn on taking her to a show on Broadway. Times Square is so busy and shows are so expensive. It was super rainy on Sunday so I decided a matinee would be an awfully good idea.

Discount tickets to Newsies were available at TKTS, but the line was long and we were already soaked and exhausted from waiting in line for two hours at Carlo’s Bakery.

I decided to try the theater for full price tickets, we had already come so far and Addie had been such a trooper.

Full price tickets were sold out so we waited in line again in hopes of getting some through a cancellation, we were told our chances were slim. The good news was at least this line was indoors and we had lots of pastries from Carlo’s to keep us company.

Just before we were ready to admit defeat, a woman stopped with her daughter and asked if we were buying tickets.

“Well, I hope we can.”

“I have two extras, the people who were coming with us couldn’t make it and I would hate for them to go to waste.”

Just like that she handed over two seventh row center seats to a sold out showing of Newsies on Broadway. She refused to let me pay her and I started to weep.

We were hoping for stand-by tickets to Newsies when a woman just gave us hers. I dare you to say karma isn't real. #AddieInNYC
Her oldest son was just deployed with the Marines a few days earlier. Since he is with intel she won’t hear from him for seven long months.

I thanked her a thousand times for the tickets and a thousand times more for sharing her son with our country.

I dare you to tell me karma isn’t real.

Put good out there, get good back.

I drove past a church sign today that said “If God brought you to it, He will help you through it.”

I sometimes wish my church had a witty sign out front.

xx

Comments

  1. Amanda C says:

    Wow…what a wonderful gesture of that lady!! And in NYC, no less! I love peonies too…wonderful fragrance. I don’t have any planted right now, though. :( Also, I just wanted to let you know that at Main Street Market (nee Marsh) the baggers will push your cart to your car for you, at least they do here (a lost art, if you ask me!). I hope they do in Indy!!

    Casey Reply:

    @Amanda C, There is a little market by me where they offer to push my cart out, but it’s never where I do my major shopping so I never really need help.
    It truly is a lost service.

  2. Warning: must get tissue before reading this post.
    I just laughed too loud (“lost her damn mind”–a termed used recently at our house) and cried about the tickets! All while standing in line waiting for food. I’m not cuckoo, people. Promise. : )
    So great. Thanks for sharing.

    Casey Reply:

    @Sarah, There’s losing your mind.
    Then there’s losing your damn mind, you clearly know the difference.
    I got teary writing about the tickets as well. I love nice people.

  3. Isaiah 43:1-2. Thru the water, river and fire.

    It’s on my fridge.

    Some days it’s my only source of encouragement. Outside my amazing kids and awesome husband, the Big Scary of my life requires this promise.

    Life is hard. Yo.

    Casey Reply:

    @Keri, My favorite has always been “This too shall pass.”
    Never anywhere in the bible does it say “This crap is here to stay, yo.”

  4. I love peonies. Damn quitters.
    I hear you and have been in those same shows, sister. I leave the kid at home while shopping these days. If only ever mama had that luxury.
    New Yorker’s rule. As do you. Hence the karma.

    Casey Reply:

    @joules, Oh man, I remember telling my sister that grocery shopping alone was just about as good as going to the spa. She didn’t believe me until she had a kid of her own.

  5. I always read, but never comment….but today I need to say that I heart this post.

    I also love peonies, in spite of their lack of coping skills. Peonies are like that friend you really love but is secretly a slightly high maintenance hot mess.

    Casey Reply:

    @Kelly, This just entered my ‘most favorite comment hall of fame.’

    That’s EXACTLY what peonies are.

  6. So sweet on the tickets! So did you get to sit with the lovely lady?
    I cannot grow anything at our house. I planted a ton of stuff the first year we moved in and a few things came up. The next year, I planted a few more, but got even less. This year I give up. But you know what keeps coming up? The things the previous owner planted… sheesh!

    Casey Reply:

    @Krista, We did get to sit by her! I have hostas that come up every year that were already here. I plant what I want, then at the end of the year I figure out what didn’t totally die and plant it again next year. :)

  7. I too want to go to a church with a witty sign out front. I don’t think the Catholics are much for humor. At all.

    Casey Reply:

    @ClassyFabSarah, Yeah, Mormons aren’t really there either. I do think we’re ahead of the Catholics though.

  8. Next time Vivi loses her damn mind, pull your cart by the basket (like, the big front part where you put all the things), instead of pushing it. I’m sure there is some law of physics or something to explain it, but I just know it’s easier. I’ve had my fair share of those moments, so I’ve learned. :-)

    Casey Reply:

    @Jen, THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE.
    This is why no one should ever have to parent without other parent friends.

  9. Our church has a sign out front, but not a lot of space to be witty. Tho the other day it did say “Like us on Facebook” and that made me chuckle.

    Bless that woman and her son. Moments like that are truly amazing and give us all hope in this sometimes dark world.

    Glad that you and Addie had a great time :)

    Casey Reply:

    @Wendy [mapsgirl], We do have a few facebook pages, and twitter accounts.
    Progress?
    (Although none of them are witty.)

  10. Casey,

    I love peonies, too. I love the smell. We have a friend who let Dillan pick some yesterday to put next to her mom’s ashes. When I woke up this morning and walked downstairs, the smell came over me and it was so amazing.

    About Vivi, I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be. I can also see how someone could beat themselves up because they feel like they are a bad parent when they aren’t. Trust me, you are an amazing mom!!!! Vivi’s just going through a phase right now that just needs your amazing patience and love. You will get through this. You will survive.

    Just try to remember the lovely. I try to do that every day now because of you. Thank you for that gift.

    Casey Reply:

    @Anjala, No problem, I’ll still date peonies seasonally, but we won’t be best friends until the end. :)

  11. Marsh will help you to your car still. There’s even a sign on the door that says something like, “We will help you to your car. This service is complimentary. Tips will not be accepted”. I’ve had them help me a couple of times and felt silly about it because I didn’t really need it. They should have been there for you. Even if that’s not where you were shopping.

    I have always met nice people in New York. Joe says it’s full of jerks (and that’s why he left), but I think you’ll find that anywhere. One time, when we were taking the train from his parents’ house into the city, someone gave us their round trip tickets for free. They were expiring that day and they weren’t going to use them. I knew there were nice people there.

    Casey Reply:

    @Katie, I’m more and more convinced that NYC isn’t nearly as terrible as it’s made out to be.
    I was at Meijer, where they don’t even have baggers anymore. Womp.

  12. Awesome about the tickets!
    Just an FYI about the peonies, other than they are my fave as well. They like to be left alone. The first year you plant them, they won’t flower. If you’ve moved them every year, that’s why they haven’t flowered. They won’t flower until the second or third year in the same spot. And they can’t have too much dirt on top of them either. Can’t remember the “ideal” depth. I actually had blossoms for the first time this year and some stupid bug came & chewed the centers right out of them. grrrr

    Casey Reply:

    @Trixie, I haven’t moved them, I’ve just planted more at various depths and locations in my yard and all of them have failed me. One bush did get quite large this year (the original one I planted) but still no blooms. Moody flowers.

  13. growing up Mormon and being very familiar with our churches, I’m kinda glad we don’t have that tacky sign thing out front. It’s RARE that whatever saying du jour is witty and thought provoking. Mostly, it induces deep eye rolls from me. One of these days, my eyes are gonna get lodged up there. I’ll look pretty freaky, no?

    Casey Reply:

    @Q, Heh. I can see it now.
    ‘Rest in peace, the eyeroll did her in.’

  14. Peonies have always been my favorite! When I was little I called them “shy roses.” But Petunias are lovely too.

    And getting those tickets? That is karma and LookForTheLovely at its best.

  15. There is a part of me that in convinced that you got those tickets because you stood outside of Animal Kingdom for ten minutes trying to give your tickets away. Awesomeness attracts awesomeness.

  16. Someone beat me to the punch about pulling the cart by the front …

    In Iowa, at the Fareway stores, they don’t let you take carts out. If you have too many groceries to carry yourself (or if you don’t want to carry your groceries, even it if’s a little bit), the bag boy/girl/person will follow you to your car and load your groceries for you. Every. single. time. Why? Because they take the cart back, insuring that the carts are brought back into the store right away and not taken anywhere else. (plus, courtesy)

    And … peonies have ants. Teeny, tiny ants. Just sayin’. ;-)

  17. GIve them more time – eventually your peonies will grow and then bloom. I lived in a rental for a year on Greenwood 10 LONG years ago that had SEVEN different varieties of peonies!! I still kick myself OFTEN for not taking a start from each bush. I have my Moma 3 small starts when we moved and now all these years later she has bushes growing for a good 6 feet!! I hear ya on the losing her damn mind. I have been known to hold the babe in an awkward hug whist pushing the cart. Ugh. It gets better, right?

    Also, you have good karma because you give good karma! So YAY for the show tickets? Newsies is a favorite musical of mine. I would be stunned into momentary silence if I could see it on Broadway. Maybe longer term silence if Christian Bale were performing on Broadway!! Happy Weekend.

  18. Oh Casey I loved everything about this. Yes, karma is a wonderful beautiful thing. That woman so very very kind to give you her tickets!

  19. Amazing, beautiful story…thank you for sharing :)