During my first few weeks of college at the University of Dayton, I befriended a smart, feisty girl from Youngstown. Jessica and I had a lot in common: A love of good music, blue-collar roots and a strong sense of ethics, an appreciation for literature and cooking, enthusiasm for sports, and so on. 13 years and many lifetime landmarks later, I am proud that I can count Jess among my best friends. She probably knows me better than anyone else on this earth, and trust me when I say that it reflects very well on me that she still grants me the honor of her friendship.
This weekend, Jessica made the drive north from Cincinnati to spend time with her mom in Youngstown and run the Cleveland Marathon. On Saturday, while she and her mom perused a plant sale at Mill Creek Park, Jess mentioned that she and I were getting together later that night. Sandra, a fellow avid gardener, immediately suggested that they pick out a plant for me.
When Jessica asked how they would know what to get, Sandra replied that she's visited this blog and could figure out from that what I would like. She was absolutely right. Check out the picture to see my newest garden addition: 'Party Dress,' a gorgeous, double-flowered Japanese anemone. WOW! I didn't even know this plant existed before I received this wrapped pot on Saturday but now that we've been introduced I'm smitten. It's definitely going in a place of honor, in front of the bed where I have a couple of its single-flowering cousins.
I agonize over gift-buying, so I'm always amazed when anyone picks out a perfect gift so effortlessly. I should have known that selecting great gifts was a talent of Sandra's, though. Jess obviously inherited strength, intelligence, beauty and a great sense of style from Sandra... so it makes sense that Jess's skill at buying just the right gift came from the same source. (Sadly, it didn't work that way in my family... if one of us kids inherited my Mom's ability to pick out the perfect, witty birthday card or the most memorable gift, it definitely wasn't me.)
I have been told that it is bad luck to thank someone for a gift plant--many of my relatives swear that the plant won't grow if you say thanks. So I'll have to figure out another way to let Sandra know how much I appreciate my new 'Party Dress'!
Sandra, if you're reading this... I hope you don't mind the my informality in using your first name. I just try to keep last names off of my blog when posting about friends.