“Hey!”, the text on my phone read, “My mom has more hydrangeas than she knows what to do with. Would you like some?”
Would I like some? “Are you kidding? OF COURSE!” was my speedy response.
“I’ll come pick you up after dinner and we can head on over!” came the reply. “Ok, but just know that I’m in my grubby sweats. You’ve been warned!” I texted back.
I saw her car pull into the driveway just as I was finishing up the last of the dinner dishes. I grabbed my bucket, yelled “see you guys in a few minutes” to my family and raced out the door.
As I hopped in the car I noticed that Julie didn’t have her own bucket. “Aren’t you going to get some too?”, I asked.
“Oh, I already have a ton at my house“, she replied.
“So, this is just for me?” I asked.
I couldn’t believe that she would drive me over to her mom’s house just so that I could get some hydrangeas.
“Well, we just thought you might enjoy them!” she answered.
We got to Lucy’s house and as the door swung open I was met with the same warm smile that has always greeted me every time I’ve encountered this woman, the mother of one of my dearest friends. She gave me a big hug as I stepped into her foyer. I looked over towards the dining room and noticed that it had been set with lovely china and a delicious looking cake.
“I thought maybe we could enjoy a little dessert together“, Lucy said. I glanced down at my grubbiest of grubby sweats and thought that I currently looked more like I should be cleaning toilets (which is what I’d been doing earlier that day!) than sitting down for tea and cake at her beautiful dining room table.
Was this done just for me?
“But, let’s go get you some flowers first!” she said.
As we stepped through the back door I felt as though I had been transported to a garden somewhere in the English countryside. Multiple varieties of roses lined paths and wound their way up onto arbors. A gentle breeze picked up their heady scent and as I turned the corner I saw them…the largest, most incredible hydrangea bushes I’d ever seen.
I felt like I’d won the hydrangea lottery!
We started clipping and clipping and clipping and clipping, all the while chatting about the ordinary stuff of life.
Only this didn’t feel like an ordinary kind of moment. It felt almost…magical.
The three of us there laughing and talking on that warm summer evening, elbow deep in hydrangeas as my bucket was filled to overflowing.
And all of those beautiful blooms were just for me to take home and enjoy!
After the bucket was so full that I could barely lift it, we went inside and sat down at the dining room table. Lucy sliced the cake and handed me a piece on a gorgeous china plate. We talked more…and laughed more…and I even forgot for a bit that I was in my grubby sweats.
We ate cake and covered topics ranging from how to properly dry hydrangeas to how to talk to our daughters about puberty. It’s amazing how much ground women can cover conversationally in a half an hour!
We talked about the At the Picket Fence blog and Lucy, as she always does, went on and on about this project and that project and how much she loves reading all of our posts.
Of course, since her daughter is a contributor, I know she’s just a tad biased!
When it was time to go, Lucy, ever the gracious hostess, boxed up some cake for me to bring home to my family.
I hugged her good-bye and thanked her profusely for the abundance of hydrangeas.
Julie and I got in the car and as we drove off I started telling her how much the evening had meant to me.
And then I burst into tears.
Because that had all been just for me.
The thought…the offer…the picking me up…the hydrangeas…the cake…all of it.
Julie already had hydrangeas and could come pick them anytime from her mom’s house. She didn’t need to go over there that night.
But they knew. They knew how much I would love them, appreciate them, savor them, enjoy them.
I cried because I felt like I had just received a blessing that would last far longer than the hydrangeas would…even the dried ones!
I cried because I don’t have a lot of family living around me and these women have become my family.
I cried because sometimes it takes someone coming along and pouring into your life to make you realize just how thirsty you were for that kind of care.
I’m sure to them, this was such a simple thing to do. To them, it wasn’t a grand gesture.
But on that warm summer evening, I felt…well…grand.
Even in my grubby sweats!
So, Lucy, this hydrangea story is dedicated to you.
I came home with more than hydrangeas that day.
I came home with a refreshed spirit.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you,
Sharing this here:
Amaze Me Monday
Shirley@Housepitality Designs says
What a great blessing you have in wonderful friends…It is those special acts of kindness that truly reminds us of what life is all about….to care about others and bring joy into their lives…Have a wonderful weekend enjoying those gorgeous hydrangeas.
Richella @ Imparting Grace says
I love this story! The hydrangeas are beautiful, of course. But the inspiration is more than that! I want to be like Lucy!!
I have chills sitting here reading this. I’m missing my mom. Like Lucy she was one of those “one in a million women”. You are richly blessed to have her in your life.
So what is Lucy’s tip on drying hydrangeas? I have two semi full bushes of them and I’m drying about 15 heads in my dining room right now. They are Annabelles. What I find is that some dry a light tan color and some dry green. Curious as to why that is. Is it our cooler Minnesota climate?
Love this special story. Plan to share it with several friends and family.
Hugs from Minnesota!
Leann Slater says
What a beautiful story! Thank you, for the reminder of how much impact reaching out with small gestures and a welcoming heart can have on those around us.
Tammy Killough says
What a beautiful story! I so wished that hydrangeas would do good here. I have a pee gee that I get a few from…but our hot dry winds just aren’t friendly to these darlings. Thanks so much for sharing this touching story with us! Friends are awesome blessings! ~Tammy
Brenda Kula-Pruitt says
This was such a lovely and well-written post. I savored every word of it. What would we do without our friends? Particularly when we don’t have family close by.
Bonnie Powell says
I want to be like Lucy too!!! What a wonderful, incredible reminder of the “little things” that can mean so much!!!! Thanks for sharing!
And I cried reading it, too. What a special time with good friends! And how wonderful to have the feeling that someone has done something “just for me”. We should all try to do something for a friend to make them feel so special. Thanks for a wonderful read.
Bev Lowe says
When one’s heart is filled to overflowing, it’s grand to give. In the giving, the giver gets some back ~
Loved this…made me miss my mom and visiting with her and just talking. It will be 4 years tomorrow, September 15, 2009, since she died of a brain tumor. I teared up reading your post. Loved what you said about someone coming and pouring into your life, I feel that thirst myself! You are lucky to have her in your life. Enjoyed visiting your blog…thanks for sharing your heartwarming story.
Such a beautiful story. I loved the pictures you posted. It gave me some ideas on how to display my Limelight Hydrangeas. You forgot to mention what kind of cake you all enjoyed:)
Oh, I cried too. I love hydrangeas, but your post sharing friendship was more lovely than any bouquet.
Judy Clark says
What a precious story! Isn’t t it amazing how one person’s small act of kindness can totally make on’s day? Bless Lucy and her Mom for their sweet act of kindness.
Tears rolling down cheeks reading this story…. what a blessing friends and family can be in just the simplest of things. Enjoy all the moments. Life is short.. share the love!!! I need to be more open to those opportunities in my own life. Thanks for sharing… LOVE Hydrangeas!!!
Debi Drace says
What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing it with us
That was such a beautiful story. I loved it. I even had tears. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.
OMG you made me cry! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story.
What a wonderful, touching story. Thank you so much for sharing it.
What sweet friends you have….I’m glad you were able to enjoy such a magical evening!!!! Your Hydrangeas are gorgeous and I know you will always cherish them.
Beautiful!!! I might even have some hydrangeas in my own backyard. I better go check. Inspirational photos – thanks!
Dear, dear Vanessa you’ve just replenished my drained cup to know I filled yours. We drove 7 hours today to get to the hospital where my 92 year old mother was after a hip break. She was getting a blood transfusion and being poked and prodded. I had already been with her for 4 hours when they tried to move her a little for the night that the screams of pain that came out of her were more than I could bear. They gave her morphine, but it still took over 1/2 an hour for her to be stilled. I just wept as I kissed her tears and felt her pain and Icried to the Lord to please fill my cup because I was drained. You truly helped fill it when I had emptied myself and will continue to do so for this week. Thank you! Lucy
I love this story! Those are the moments where God makes himself so real. Thank you for sharing.
Kim @ Sand & Sisal says
Tears…. pouring down. Yep. Enough said. 😉 You are blessed darlin’ to have such beautiful people in your life.
Gorgeous hydrangeas…now that is one awesome friend!
So very, very happy that my daughter has these precious friends in her life! Thank you! Blessings to you both!
Marilyn Bennett says
For 50 years Lucy has been my dear friend too – I knew it was “my Lucy” when I started reading. I saw those limelight hyrangeas when I visited from B.C. a few years ago, and still plan on adding some to my garden. Lucy overflows with love – she is Mrs. Hospitality and she really does enjoy reaching out to others bringing joy to them in whatever way she can. She is one in a million and I am blessed to call her my friend.
Oh, lucky, lucky you! I had hydrangeas in NY and have 2 baby shrubs here in NC but, I have had NO success in drying them here….too much humidity i assume 🙁
Enjoy your bounty!!!
How special! What a kind, kind, and very sweet thing to do! So, sweet Vanessa, anytime you are feeling lonely, sad, or just need a reminder of how much you are loved … you can remember this sweet hydrangea story. Priceless!
Thanks so, so, very much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!