Frances is the mother of my friend Donna, whom you may have read about in other posts. Their family is a treasure and I am fortunate to be loved by them. For thirty years Frances and her husband George owned a farm and garden supply store way out in the country. It is THE place where locals go for feed, seed, gossip and good times. A few years ago they decided to sell the store and retire, but it didn’t take long for them to be missed. Everyone knows them and they know everyone. Everyone. So they went back to work at the store. Part time of course. I’ll just say that they do more work in half the time than most people do in a week. Here are some things I have learned from Frances.
Follow your own path.
Take the driver’s seat.
Know your strengths.
Accept your limitations.
Keep it real.
Frances has lived life to the fullest for seventy-eight years. She’s endured the deaths of her first husband and two of her three children. She’s a woman who has survived cancer and thrived in spite of an aversion to cooking. She faces each day with more guts, grace, strength and self-assurance than any woman I have ever known. Yes, including myself. She is a dear lady, a force to be reckoned with and is often hilarious without even trying.
These last three weeks spending time with Frances, sharing, working and laughing meant a great deal to us both. We kept the roads hot on our way to and from the market with loads and loads of flats and more flats of vegetable plants and flowers. We hand selected the most beautiful hanging baskets from greenhouses and nurseries. Frances does this every spring. I had so much fun going with her this year, meeting the growers and wholesalers, loading and unloading, helping to choose plants for the store and for her own yard. We dug up some 30-year-old azaleas and planted roses, salvia, mandevilla and hibiscus. Then we spread mulch and had such a good time doing it that it hardly seemed like work at all.
We did some other stuff too, which I’ll share in another post. Frances is wise. Let me Google that is something you will never hear her say. If she doesn’t know it, then it isn’t worth knowing. That’s her philosophy, it works for her and that is what makes her so awesome!