Thirty-plus years ago, a lady gave me a gift. She just happened to be the Mother of my principal at the Middle School where I taught. She also ran a daycare in her home where I took my son during the day.
She had a modest home, but it always felt inviting. Her yard and flowers was something she took pride in. I was always amazed at the things she did with her small city plot of land and that little house that held so much love for her charges.
There was always something baking, or a craft being made in the kitchen. She was not one to sit around, there was always something to keep her and the children she cared for, engaged and inspiried.
One day, when I picked up my son, she was working in her side-yard where there were beautiful yellow Iris blooming. I mentioned that I was from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa which is known as the Iris City in my home state. She and her husband had ties to Iowa, so that started up another conversation.
Well the next day, when I came to pick up my son , she handed me a paper sack filled with Iris bulbs. “I’m thinning them out!” She said.
I was so excited and grateful for her gift. We had recently built a home in the country. I knew just the spot for these beauties.
When I got home, I planted them right away.
That was in nineteen-seventy-something. Every year since, those yellow Iris have pushed their way up through the rocky soil, and bloomed just as they had that first year I planted them. Each spring I think back, and remember her.
I see her face, and think of her cozy home and her flowers.
She is gone now, for many years, but the friendship and love with which she gave me those bulbs, live on.
Thank you, Lavera Stineman.