Tuesday, July 22, 2014


One of the rewards of this venture is seeing people reconnect with old friends.

A few months ago I gave a rose to my neighbor Erika. She thought of a friend whom she hadn't seen in years but used to know well. Their children had grown up together. With a little sleuthing on the internet Erika tracked down Dorothy's address and sent me off to deliver my second rose.

Dorothy greeted me warmly, even before she knew who I was and what I was doing. When I explained that the rose I presented to her was from Erika, she lit up. She wanted to know all about how Erika and her family were doing. I was able to tell her about Erika's brand new granddaughter. Dorothy was thrilled!

Well, later Dorothy called Erika and their friendship was rekindled. Erika invited both me and Dorothy to her granddaughter's baby shower.

A big surprise came for me when Erika showed up at my house with a gift from Dorothy. It was a beautiful hand-knit prayer shawl accompanied by a thoughtful note. I cried with gratitude for both these lovely women.

When my husband saw the gift, he said, "Wow. All that for just a rose?"

Yes. Well said. Wow.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I don't always choose a yellow bouquet, but I'm glad I did today. Carol was grateful to receive a yellow rose. Yellow roses are her favorite because they were her Aunt Dorothy's favorite. Aunt Dorothy didn't have any children, so when Carol was little she became Dorothy's "daughter."

One day when Carol was five she stood at a chain linked fence waiting for Aunt Dorothy's plane to return from Europe. But it never did. The pilot tried to take a shortcut and crashed into a mountain. Carol's mom told her Aunt Dorothy flew to heaven.

So Carol loves yellow roses. She chose them for her wedding bouquet. She puts them on her aunt's grave. Maybe, just maybe, Aunt Dorothy up in heaven was thinking of her "daughter" and made sure I picked the yellow ones and took one to Carol.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cute Mother and Son

Today I ended up in Target looking for a certain employee. That felt a little weird...walking around the store with a couple roses. I was hoping no one thought I just took them out of the flower cooler.

The employee wasn't there, so I had to choose someone else. A little nervously, I walked into the optical department and handed it to the lady at the desk. I explained what I was doing, which is always a little difficult when it's from me, a stranger, and not one of their friends. She received the flower graciously and sent me to check-stand 3 where a friendly older woman was running the register. I gave it to her from "Melissa in Optical." Since she was busy doing her job, I didn't want to interrupt her too much, so I just gave the other rose in my hand to the customer she was helping.

The customer was so cute. She wanted to have her son's opinion--he was about 5--of whom to give the next rose. They finally settled on Allison who had her third chemo treatment today. It was going to be from the little boy. I was so excited to take it to Allison, because I know how much it means to receive little bits of love when going through chemotherapy.

But here is where the sad part comes in. I went to the coordinates that the mother gave me and it wasn't right. I drove all over looking for the home she described. (She didn't have the house number.) Oh, it made me so sad to not find it. Next time I will know to get the person's first and last name or phone number, especially if I don't have an exact address!

I loved how this mother involved her son in the process. How do you involve your kids in service?

Not home

Sometimes people aren't home. Okay, a lot of times people aren't home. In that case, I just leave the rose on the doorstep with a note explaining who it's from and any message the person wanted me to deliver. Hopefully it will be a fun "welcome home" surprise for them.

Recently I got a call from my neighbor friend who cleans houses. She had received a rose a couple years back when I used to play the game in my own neighborhood, so she knew all about it. Well, she was calling to tell me she had just been to a client's house (a few miles away) and found a rose that I had left on that doorstep that day! Small world, eh?

The Invention of the Rose Game

It all started by the rose bouquets in Costco. "Boy, those are beautiful and only 15 bucks," I said to myself. I knew I could make someone's day. After way too much deliberating over colors, I grabbed a bunch and checked out.

Back in the car I got to thinking. If I could make one person happy with 24 roses, why not make 24 people happy with one rose?

Driving home I decided which neighbor to visit first. What fun it was to show up on her doorstep with an unexpected gift! (Way more fun for me than for her, I'm sure.) After a brief visit, it came to me...why not ask her where I should take the next rose? She sent me to another neighbor. "This rose is from Rebecca," I said. After some delightful chit chat, I said very formally, "I have another flower. To whom shall I give it?"

This was giddy fun! I went all around the neighborhood.

The third-to-last person sent me to someone I didn't know a few streets away. And she told me the first friend who popped into her mind. Little did she know that this friend was grieving the passing of her dog. I was glad I stood on her doorstep that day with my last flower.

This was a few years ago. Since then I've played the game many times because it makes me happy. I've branched out of my neighborhood and been all over the valley, meeting diverse, wonderful people.

Someone said I should write a book about my adventures. I think this little blog will suffice for my own remembrances. And...maybe someone reading will be inspired to start their own game, their own way.