by Leslie Budewitz
I pride myself in not being a sentimental fool. Leave the hearts and flowers and romantic mush for other women. At least, in public. Anyone who knows me even reasonably well knows I am head-over-heels with Mr. Right. (I will confess, there was a Mr. Oh-so-wrong, but that’s all you get to know about him, except that he did one thing right for which I’ll forever be grateful – he helped bring our daughter into the world. Well, two things: He also left me.)
And there is one sentimental gesture I never tire of: Buying Mr. Right flowers.
I know, it’s not the usual thing, a woman buying flowers for a man. I sent him a bouquet after our first date and it made us both so happy that I’ve kept it up for nearly 20 years.
Now, though, I buy flowers in the Market, where flowers overflow planters and windowboxes and fill the daystallers' tables in the North Arcade. First, it’s the daffs, then the tulips. Along come the sweet peas, the gawdy peonies, the spiky iris, the smiling ranunculus. Then the summer flowers – the daisies – painted, Shasta, and gerbera, asters, roses, phlox, delphiniums, and dahlias the size of dinner plates. And in fall, we're awash in sunflowers. You name it, some one with a patch of ground and a green thumb brings them to the Market.
Once the weather turns too cold and wet, the only options are hot house flowers and the dried bouquets of statice, baby’s breath, and strawflowers. One reason I know my guy is Mr. Right? I could bring him tissue paper flowers and he wouldn't care. Every bouquet puts a smile on his face. Each time I bring one home and present them to him, he acts like it’s the first time. Takes me in his arms and kisses me, and I get a tingling feeling from tip to toe.
Thanks to the Market, love is always in the air.
What's your favorite spring flower, reader pals?
"A treat for the senses." --- librarian and reviewer Lesa Holstine, on the Spice Shop Mysteries
From the cover of CHAI ANOTHER DAY, Spice Shop Mystery #4 (Seventh St. Books, June 2019):
Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother's house hunt, and a fisherman who's set his hook for her.
As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee's vintage home decor shop that ends in murder.
Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend - and Pepper herself.
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," is nominated for the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story; read it on her website. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.
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