Group Writing: M-4


The subject of this series of posts is going to be a bit different from normal. It’s a different experience for me, certainly. For today is M-4.

I sit at a borrowed computer in an apartment over a flower shop in a historic building, somewhere in small town Illinois. A small TV shows Fox News continuously on mute. I’m here on vacation to work during the busiest time of the year for florists: Mother’s Day. And I will transcribe the highlights here, as part of our Group Writing series on Bloomin’ Ideas.

How does a chemist and safety professional end up helping out at a florist shop? You could say it was a matter of adoption.

My good friend Silence (nicknames will be used to protect the guilty and glitter-covered), who I had known for a few years online on a Sci-fi forum before it was revealed that we lived in the same college, invited me down for a small town festival with his family. I became a recurring sight at family events, where they kept inviting me back for some reason. I got to know his mother, who I’ll call the Steel Rose. A tough small business owner and local politician, she just keeps on rolling, driven with incredible dedication and skill. (I am not saying that because she will be my boss for the next few days.)

A few years ago, I was in dire need of cash, so I was invited to assist with flower delivery for the lead-up to Valentine’s Day. I repeated this a few times. Now, the Steel Rose is a mistress of small business, but she has very poor luck with employees. This year was especially bad. Also, Silence and I are heading to a Sci-fi Convention and Ricochet meetup in Layton, Utah. This will take cash.

Thus, a plan was hatched, vacation time taken, and I find myself above a flower shop after a train and car ride. What happens when we start early tomorrow?

I have no bloomin’ idea…

There are 8 comments.

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  1. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Mothers’ Day is Sunday, so this Wednesday is M-4. Is it a good year for the roses?

    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the May 2019 Group Writing Theme: Blooming Ideas. Do stop by and sign up!

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  2. OkieSailor Member

    OmegaPaladin: Now, the Steel Rose is a mistress of small business, but she has very poor luck with employees.

    My brother managed convenience stores his entire working career. He occasionally said, “When you pay minimum wage you get minimum help.” He was lucky to have one or two employees he could count on at any one time. But then, managing the revolving door of employees was his primary job, the inventory and such was purely secondary.
    So the Steel Rose is lucky to have you around just as you are lucky to have this opportunity to pick up some extra cash. As if luck has much to do with it ;>)

    Happy Mother’s Day. If your mother is living, spend time with her on Sunday. If that isn’t possible, call her and just talk. She deserves it, even if she isn’t  perfect.

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  3. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey

    I passed by this charming but cryptic title a few times before I read Omega Paladin’s name on it and figured, with him at the wheel it’s going to be interesting, probably offbeat and good. 


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  4. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT

    OmegaPaladin: Now, the Steel Rose is a mistress of small business, but she has very poor luck with employees.

    I suspect the reason the Steel Rose has poor luck with employees is because she is a perfectionist. If she tells you to put that rose, you just put to the right of the vase, to the left side, then DO IT. Do not argue with her, do not express your opinions if you are not a floral expert. Oh, and if the flowers have been sitting for a time, snip a tiny bit from the bottom of the stem so it can absorb water. The arrangement will last longer.

    I am a floral arranger my self, and gads, I can’t stand a poorly executed display, especially when folks are paying $45 and up.

    I personally did all the floral for one of my daughters’ wedding, and was told by many, many guest how beautiful everything was. I still do my own. I have taken back arrangements by some of the local shops because they were so shoddy.

    Good luck with the Steel Rose. She is a woman after my own heart.

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  5. She Reagan

    Hope all goes well, and at least you’re in a place that, no matter how busy and crazy it gets, should smell nice.  Could be worse.

    Best of (bloomin’) luck.

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  6. Shauna Hunt Inactive
    Shauna Hunt

    I hope you don’t have hay fever! Good luck to you!

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  7. Percival Thatcher

    Okay, you have to do better than “small-town” Illinois. Almost all of them are small. Northern, southern, central? I can’t get my bearings here. Do the local folks sound like extras from The Front Page, or The Glass Menagerie?

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  8. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    Northern Illinois

    • #8

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