Small. White. Multiple of them on a stem. An upside-down bell. Fragrant. Elegant. Beautiful. Perfect.
“I’m ready to go,” I said confidently to my dad even though I was freaking out on the inside. Today was the day I became an adult.
“I still don’t like this idea,” was the reply back.
Today was the first day I was going to be able to walk down to my grandma’s cottage without anyone else with me. This event signified growing up in my family. Of course, I receive the super long lecture before I was allowed to leave.
“Don’t talk to strangers.” “Don’t get in anyone’s car.” “Don’t walk in the middle of the street.” “Don’t stop till you get there,” my dad chided.
“I’ll be fine dad,” came my reply.
I was finally allowed to leave with the promise that I would call as soon as I walked in the door. My dad had also already called down to my grandmas to make sure that she knew I was on my way and to keep an eye out for me. Even though I acted like I was confident enough to do this on my own, I am glad my dad had done those things for me. I finally set out, for what was only a ten minute walk.
The way to my grandma’s cottage is along the busiest street in town. It’s the only street that leads to Oval Beach so during summer days it’s always hustle and bustle. It also has a lot of twisty turns and slight hills that make it hard to see sometimes. Add to that the fact it doesn’t have sidewalks and you can see why my dad was so nervous about letting me go.
However, I had been taught well how to walk down this road. Years of practicing with my dad, my uncle, my older cousin Bryan, or even my grandma had taught me the correct way. Start off going against traffic on the left, as soon as you are over the hill, cross the street and walk with traffic. Stay as close to the side with the tress and possible. When you can, walk slightly up onto driveways so you are further away from traffic. Always make sure drivers can see you.
Even though I knew inside that this trip was pretty dangerous, I started to feel more and more confident as I got farther away from my cottage and closer to my grandma’s house. I walked at a brisk pace, knowing I needed to make that phone call before a full fledge search party was sent out to find me. That didn’t stop me from stopping though.
As I got closer and closer to my grandmas, I kept seeing these beautiful Lily of the Valleys growing along the side of the road. I thought about how lovely they would look in a vase in my grandma’s house. I decided to pick some, which took longer than I thought, and then continued to make my way down the road.
When I finally reached my grandmas, I saw the silhouette of a woman on the porch with her arms on her hips. I knew I was late. And in trouble.
I walked up the steps and waited for the lecture to begin. My grandma’s mouth opened. “Where….”
I thought she was going to say, where have you been? But instead my grandma asked, “where did you get those beautiful Lily of the Valleys from?”
Every day after that I brought my grandma a handful of flowers from my walk. She would bring them inside, pull out a small glass drinking cup from one of her cupboards, and fill it with water. She would them put the flowers in the water and place them around the cottage. Every time I came, her face lit up when I handed her the bouquet. Her cottage smelled like them and people always commented on how beautiful all the “vases” looked around the cottage.
A tradition had begun.