Friday, March 10, 2006

Have flowers, will travel

A few months ago my sister gave me a budget to make a silk flower centerpiece for her synagogue in Columbus Ohio, a gift from one of its members in his beloved departed daughter’s memory. I had grand ideas. I haunted countless flower showrooms, and ordered splendid flowers, all white and elegant and majestic, and a gigantic glass vase to house them. But there was a glitch: every time I hunkered down to the task, one pesky question kept tormenting me: How is this mammoth piece of work going to make its way to Columbus, if the flowers and I are in New York? After mulling the plan over for weeks, I decided to ship all the flowers directly to the synagogue, and bought a round-trip plane ticket to Columbus.

There was great excitement in my sister’s neighborhood: In one fell swoop, I was going to visit my sister, her family and her friends, with all the fun it entailed, and I was commissioned to the most sumptuous flower assignment to date. Members of the synagogue sneaked in to see the work in progress, while I clipped and I glued and I tied for hours, walking around my creation doggedly and from every angle imaginable until I was totally satisfied it looked the most beautiful it could look.

At last, with a thousands precautions, we lifted the finished product to its final home, a stand in the center of the synagogue hall. We displayed it just in time for Shabbos, and the couple hundred members who came for the services, marveled at the new addition in their shul, and ran to smell and touch the flowers. They were bewildered when they realized the flowers were made of silk. What better tribute could I get for my efforts? Food and flowers, that’s what I devote my life work to. How lucky can I get? See for yourself!

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