In spite of the fact that my favorite flower grows only in zones 4-8, I have successfully managed to trick some (gardeners call this 'forcing') into growing for me here in Miami, in January in our 78+ F weather, indoors, on the violet cart. Ha! Take that Mother Nature, you sly minx! Longtime readers of the blog may remember part of the reason I'm so taken with the flower and have been since childhood. I'm lily of the valley-ed out over here. And now it turns out that it's my son's girlfriend's favorite flower after she saw some photos of lilies of the valley on the internet.
I wish I could do a scratch and sniff post so you guys could smell these lilies of the valley. So fresh. So SPRING!
Anyway, it's Sunday and since you might have just a bit of time on your hands, I want to direct readers to a new tab on the blog, Be the Change. Rather than that big international list of stuff on Marzie's Favorite Links, Be the Change gives you some resources on things you can do in your own backyard. It could be as simple as volunteering once in a while to read bedtime stories or play games with children in foster care or at your local Ronald McDonald House, the proverbial home away from home for children undergoing longterm medical care. Or maybe you can go and play Bingo in a retirement home, cheering the elderly. Or maybe after reading all my many posts about children in foster care, you're curious about the guardian ad litem program in your area? Or maybe, after hearing about Marina and Serena, my aged out, disabled former GAL youth of whom I'm now permanent legal guardian, you wonder if this, too, is something that you can do? Or maybe you're cleaning out your closet and realize that you have business wear that you don't want to wear anymore but someone else could really use to get and keep a job.
When I started volunteering I was a shy and tongue-tied 15 year old. I eventually decided I liked feeling useful more than I felt shy. My husband had never really volunteered until his early 40's, when I started dragging him to the Ronald McDonald House to play games, of all things, with ill children. (You'd have to know how oxymoronish that whole business seems with my husband to understand...) So it's never too late. And sometimes you surprise yourself with what you're willing to do to make a child or an older person or a lonely person smile.