Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Valeri—the Best Laid Plans ...
News travels fast regarding non-flowering plants being able to apply for admission into the exclusive Elegant Rosebud Auxiliary Club. Even Philly is trying for admission. Valeri is furious.
“Over my crumpled remains will I allow that shrub to be a part of our organization.” Valeri laments in disdain.
“When I was given admission, it was a close vote. I am also a part of the Selection Committee as well. By a small margin I might add also. Can’t you see that times are changing?” Fern tirelessly speaks up.
“It was a dreadful mistake ever allowing you into this Auxiliary. I knew you would be nothing but trouble from the beginning. You with your monotonous greenery. So plain and unassuming you are.” Valeri throws at her.
“What about you dear Valeri and you and your dried-up notions of thinking that every plant who doesn’t conform to your definition of beauty is ugly and worthless. Please, let me enlighten you on some facts regarding my species. Ferns have been around since prehistoric times. Ferns reproduce through spores, so we have no need for seeds or flowers. We may not be of major economic importance but some of us can be used as food, medicine or even as beautiful ornamental plants. Our exotic splendor lasts for years!”
Fern spends at least 20 minutes lecturing Valeri on the benefits of non-flowering plants along with other plant species. The other flowers listen in amazement and Jacquelyn is proud of her friend.
“It is about time that someone stopped tiptoeing around mother and give her a large dose of reality.” Jacquelyn thinks to herself.
“I say we at least look over Philly’s application for membership to judge the merits of having her as a member.” The delightful Violet suggests.
“Yes, but we are going to have to limit our membership. We can’t have every plant in Cloverville a member. Where would it all end.” The lovely Hyacinth points out.
“My point exactly. The Elegant Rosebud Auxiliary Club has always been exclusive. Our charitable activities have been the major featured in the Flowerbed Gazette and Chrysanthemum Journal. If too many enter, it will be our ruin!” Valeri screeches.
“True, I’m sorry Fern but Valeri raises a valid point. Our membership has always been restricted. In the bylaws, we can’t exceed 25 floral individuals and we are already at 20.” Lily explains.
Lily happens to be co-founder of the original Elegant Rosebud Auxiliary Club along with Violet and Hyacinth. Lily is also one of the main flowers who voted for Fern’s acceptance. Fern sits quietly in her pot, much to the satisfaction of Valeri and a few of the others.
“Then it is settled. We will disregard the application of Philadelphia and limit our membership to five non-flowering plants.” Valeri interjects smugly.
“I propose a compromise.” Fern rises from her pot.
“A compromise?” Valeri gets on the defensive.
“Let’s hear what our newest member has to say, Val.” Lily defends.
“Thank you, Lily.” Fern smiles at her benefactor. “Why not have a separate branch of the Elegant Rosebud Auxiliary Club. This one could be exclusively for the overflow of the non-flowering plants. The parent will foster your limit of five no-flowering entities but the new one—embracing a more relaxed atmosphere. Catering to those plants who wish more autonomy.” Fern returns Valeri’s haughty look.
“For once, our little weed has hit upon a very sound suggestion.” Valeri nods in agreement. “But let us not just limit it to the overage of non-flowering plants. Let us also encompass those petals that had to be denied entrance because of some slight imperfection.”
“Are you trying to turn it into an asylum for the rejects?” Jacquelyn observes her mother in stark disbelief.
“Why not?” One of Valeri’s associates bellows loudly. “It’s only fair that this one remain of the highest caliber.”
“And Fern dear, you would be perfect as the President of our sister auxiliary.” Valeri coos.
“And YOU as the liaison.” Fern retorts smiling at Valeri’s half gaped mouth.
“What better person to mold and mentor our New Chapter President than the present one.” Lily gives Jacquelyn a knowing wink. Jacquelyn is loving every minute of the interaction and can’t wait to share this with her father.
“But … but … but!” Valeri stammers trying to find the right words to voice her objections.
“Then let’s take a vote on it. I move that Fern become the President-elect of our new sister chapter and Valeri as Liaison between the two auxiliaries.” Lily replies.
“I second the motion.” Hyacinth speaks up.
“All in favor of the motion signify by a wave of “aye.” Demands Lily and nearly ¾ of the assembly of 20 raise their leaves in the affirmative.
“Those oppose?” Valeri and her closest colleagues feel too intimidated to object. “The vote is cast. Congratulations on the two of you and we all look forward to your success in this new endeavor.”
“What shall we call this new venture?” A member asks.
“How about the Awkward Rosebud Auxiliary Club?” Valeri suggests sarcastically. She secretly feels that since more common floral will be suited to this group; it should have an appropriate name. While her friends laugh at the title, the others are not so amused.
However, it is decided that this auxiliary would be known as the Delicate Rosebuds since they will be encouraged to follow the perfect example set by their sister buds.
Many of the flowers and the three new non-flowering plants congratulate Fern on her latest position. No one dare go to Valeri to offer anything. It is obvious that things did not go as Valeri would have preferred. Again, she is left alone in the shop after everyone else has left.
“You may have won the battle, dear Fern, but the war is not over yet. Let’s see how you handle the flowers that didn’t quite make the grade.” Closing and locking the door, Valeri smiles regarding her new plans.
On the way home Jacquelyn is approached by Fern.
“Do you think your mother will be giving me any problems with the new position?”
“You had better believe she will. I know my mother and when her mind is set on something—even a tornado would have difficulty in relocating it.” Jaquelyn laughs.
“I was afraid of that.” Fern responds thoughtfully.
“Now is not the time to back down. Although my mother doesn’t necessary like you—she does admire the way you stand up to her.”
“Really?” Fern lets a smile slip out.
“If you say anything to anybody, I will deny the entire conversation happened. I’m warning you, Fern.” Jacquelyn threatens playfully.
“Who me?” Fern replies as both head for the Velvet Pot Tearoom.
To Be Continued …
Meet the Blossoms 4
- Meet the Blossoms 4
Valeri never misses an opportunity to make Fern feel like an outsider. In spite of being ordered to train her, Valeri manages to make a mess of this as well. Upon being replaced by her daughter, the humiliated Valeri is determined to have her say!
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on February 11, 2020:
Some hot house flowers are really "Hot heads!"