I love flowers. One of my favorite adventures with my mother, when we lived in San Jose, was to go downtown to the warehouse of one of her friends who sold wholesale flowers, and just look at all the different combinations of green leaves and brightly-colored petals. I wanted to take home all of them.

I come by this love honestly. My earliest memories include my mother making sure there were flowers on the table, and my grandfather coming home with stalks of gladiolas stuck in a champagne cooler or plain metal watering can full of water, to keep them fresh.

He sent my grandmother roses for every birthday and anniversary.

She, too, loved flowers, and grew brilliant houseplants that were petted and cooed and fussed over. My grandmother was the living proof that talking to your plants really does help them. Her favorites were African violets, and she always called them her babies. It was sweet.

Fuzzy didn’t grow up with flowers as a big thing in his family, but he’s learning to appreciate them, and he’s also learned to make me smile by coming home with something pretty and festive whenever I send him to grocery shop without me. He’s also learned my rule for flower purchases: if you don’t know what someone likes, get something seasonal, or a little bit whimsical.

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