I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of Two Writing Teachers for creating this supportive community.
Yesterday was a slow morning in the Children’s Garden at Longwood. I took a book and sat down in the central cove, hoping to engage an unsuspecting toddler in Joyce Sidman’s Swirl by Swirl. Instead, I found myself in a delightful conversation with a couple from Michigan.
They were on their way to the flower show in Philadelphia and decided to stop at Longwood when they discovered how close it was. When the woman saw me with the book, she shared that she had been a second grade teacher. She talked about collecting thousands of books and turning her classroom into a rain forest or a planetarium. We shared favorite titles and favorite authors. Then we talked about the wonders of Longwood and she told me that she is a master gardener and wants to visit as many botanical gardens around the country as she can.
What struck me most about this couple was their devotion to each other. They held hands as they chatted with me, explaining that this trip was to celebrate their anniversary. The gentleman likes to drive, not fly, so that is what they do. He said that he has done many things and been to many places because of his special lady. She shared that for Christmas he still gives her a picture book, preferably one by Jan Brett, her favorite author. My heart felt full by the time they left to find the Blue Poppies.
There are many perks to volunteering at Longwood. This is one of them.