Bob, my flower-ing volunteer – announced our visits with harmonica tunes!

bob and harmonica

It was Bob’s idea last August.

Trisha, I wonder if I can help you with the flower deliveries. (He was 90 years old!)

On our first foray out to deliver the flowers, he had a thought.

Trisha, I used to play the harmonica. What do you think of this idea? I could get it out and start practicing some patriotic tunes. Then, as we carry the flowers into the nursing home, I can “announce” the visit by playing Yankee Doodle Dandy, God Bless America, America the Beautiful, Battle Hymn of the Republic, God Bless America, Halls of Montezuma, The Stars and Stripes Forever and The Star-Spangled Banner. I am a little rusty on those songs but if I practice, I should be able to do that within a few weeks. I might need to buy another harmonica because this one does not seem to be quite right.

Please give me your opinion – give out pies or flowers

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Patricia,
Pies are nice and I’m sure they would be very well received by the residents, however many seniors, especially those in long term nursing facilities are on regulated diets. Not just the diabetics, but also those that are on CHO, carb control, renal, npo, puree…etc.. would not be able to enjoy the treats…..Your flowers bring joy to many, MANY, residents with very few exclusions . You are “the flower lady”…. :)
D. M.
Patricia,
Flowers, because a lot of the residents are on ground and puree diets! Thanks, Terry

Patricia,
Seniors always seem to like sweet treats. Mary Jane

Patricia,
As for my vote, I’d say that the flowers would be easiest to continue with as the main project, with the occasional pie / yummy being the alternative. I agree that it often feels like everyone has some food-restriction (Gluten-free / lactose-intolerant / diabetes / allergies / etc), and food gifts have been more difficult for me to give to teachers / friends as a result. I would hate to see you do all of that work of collecting the food, only to be turned away. You could, however, be the ‘concierge’ of pies…if a facility wanted to throw a little shindig for the residents, you might be the one to procure the refreshments and the table decorations of flowers…maybe something like that? I know that bagel places (chains, like Einstein, and even little mom & pop shops) have to throw out their unsold inventory each day…my MOPS group used to offer to pick them up and share them with an outreach mission / soup kitchen in Norristown, saving them from the trash and saving the shelter precious budget-dollars. (Panera’s does something similar, sharing their leftover bread products with local shelters) Not sure that you want to be the “Bagel Lady”, but it’s an option if you do decide to change over to food gifts!

Whatever random acts of love you end up pursuing, I know it’ll be awesome! Blessings!

:-) Kristen

Dear Friends,
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Please give me your vote? Should I continue with the “Random acts of flowers” or switch to “Random acts of pies” for residents and staff? Quite accidentally, I stumbled upon a new project. Just wondering what you think.

Please click the link below for pictures and explanation.

http://storiesforseniors.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/random-acts-of-pies-to-give-away-no-flowers-that-day/

https://twitter.com/HappyFlowerDay/with_replies

A Beat the Heat and Have Fun with Flowers Kind of Day

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CAM02248Today, the flowers were arranged in pretty vases – to be placed in the residents’ rooms.

What did I hear today?

Are you the Flower Lady? Remember when you gave me yellow snapdragons on your last visit? Do you know that they lasted over a week? Joy swept through here the day that you and Bob brought us all of those flowers!

I am down in the dumps today. My son is dying in a nursing home in California and I can’t be with him. My name is Charles and his name is Chuck. Chuck is 64. I am turning 90.

I wish that I could correspond with you but I cannot see anymore to write a letter. I was married 78 years. My wife died two years ago. My daughter comes in once in awhile.

I have been married for 62 Years. My wife lives in another nursing home.

I am torn. My wife lives in the dementia care unit. She does not know me. She hasn’t recognized me for three years. I live over there in the independent section. I am in love with another lady who lives here. I am so filled with guilt. I want to let her know that I love her and have strong feelings for her. But how can I? I have to be faithful to my wife. What do you think I should do?CAM02245

“Random acts of pies” to give away – no flowers that day

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Two of my Trader Joe’s locations did not have flowers to donate to me – oh no! 30 ladies were waiting expectantly for flowers at a nursing home in Philadelphia. The sales associate sensed my disappointment and said,”We have 30 pies that were pulled off the shelf. They are a day before expiration. Would you like them? We had them set aside for a food pantry that usually picks them up but I think this is a good will ambassador kind of emergency donation.”

Wow – sounds like an “As easy as pie” idea to me!

So I put the box of pies, cakes, brownies, pineapple juice in cans and a variety of treats on the seat of my car and went on my way.

The toll collector on the PA turnpike commented, “Wow, you have a lot of pies!”

What kind would you like? Cherry or rhubarb? She was shocked and selected the rhubarb pie.

And then the random acts of pie-ing began for me.

First pie to the toll collector, six pies to the men working at a construction site, one to the editor of the local newspaper where I stopped to buy a newspaper…….and lots of treats to the ladies at the Philadelphia nursing home in Philadelphia. The kitchen manager said he would cut them up for a snack for all of the residents.

Maybe I have a new calling to be the Pie Lady rather than the Flower Lady. What do you think?

Response to newspaper article

Tricia,

I’m so sorry for your loss. How wonderful that your mother and friend still found the energy to serve other so late in life (and much credit to you because it probably would have been easier to deliver the flowers yourself – like doing things with young children that takes twice as long as doing it by yourself). 1381760054012

May happy memories of your mother and Bob bring you peace.

Carolmom and aunt anne flowers

Tribute to Bob – my flowering partner – Written by Edie

Edie Weinstein wrote this article after attending Bob’s memorial service today. She mentioned the Happy Flower Day Project and posted a picture of her and Bob holding the flowers…….we met for lunch ……and then Bob and I continued along on our flowering way. RIP, dear Bob.

http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/blissblog/2014/08/keep-your-fork.html

Bob, my mother and me – We were the flower people!

Two weeks ago, I sent this little article to the Chestnut Hill Local newspaper, hoping that they might tell Bob’s story. Last week, after he had passed away, the editor called me to say that they were going to run the piece on July 31st. I told Len that Bob had died peacefully. He seemed to tear up. So as a tribute to Bob (and to my dear mother), I wanted to post about these two wonderful people who inspired me…….and their memories always will. Thank you, Mom and Bob!

http://chestnuthilllocal.com/blog/2014/08/01/heart-91-year-old-man-inspiration-random-acts-flowering-cheering-elderly-patients/