Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Day 175 - Floral Bouquets

There are some things in life you cannot understand until you experience them.  One of those things is laying flowers on your mother’s grave.

My mom died in 2002.  She is buried in Omaha, NE (where I grew up).  Every time I go to Omaha I try and go to the cemetery and bring flowers.  But visiting your mother in a cemetery is hard enough, getting flowers should not be.  But every visit before this one it was. 

If you go to a florist, they are crazy expensive.  If you go to a grocery store, they are often ugly (and also pricey, especially if you go to the grocery store near the cemetery who, I am sure, knows many grieving family members come in to get flowers for graves, so they can pretty much charge what they want since they are the only local place to pick some up…).

But this time I went to Trader Joe’s at One Pacific Place.  The floral selection, as it is in every TJ’s, was beautiful.  The prices, again consistent among TJ’s stores, were outstanding.  It was easy to pick a bouquet – but aren't they all pretty??
Flowers in Omaha TJ's - see the Lauritzen Gardens painting?

Our home TJ's in Falls Church, VA - look at all of the pretty bouquets

Can you believe they are only $5.99 a bunch for this many flowers???  
 But when you are not a local, you do not have all of the “supplies” on hand to make bringing flowers to a grave easy.  For example, we were in a borrowed car, but we didn’t have SCISSORS to trim the stems or a cup to put some water in to keep the flowers fresh in the heat until we got to the cemetery.  

When we checked out, I asked the cashier if there were scissors I could borrow at customer service.  He told me to go back to the demonstration area and the lady working there could cut them for me.  (We had already met her, twice, when we tasted her delicious samples of cheese and a salad of some sort.)  So we headed back to the demo booth to ask her to cut the flowers for us.

These are the ones we chose - gorgeous
And she was SO NICE.  She didn’t even know the sadness behind the flowers (at least I do not think I blurted out “These are for my dead mother!” as I have done in the past…).  She just smiled, asked how long we would like the stems, asked if we wanted water (which I hadn’t even thought to ASK for) and took them in the back room.  A minute later out she came with the cut flowers (the right length) and some water in the flower bag that was just perfect! 

We went up to the Customer Service Desk to make sure the manager (I hope he was a manager) knew what a great employee he had.  He told us her name and I am embarrassed to say I have forgotten it so I cannot give her the proper shout out that she deserves here.  But let me just say THANK YOU, you made my visit to my mother’s grave beautiful.  My great niece helped me put the “yellow flowers” (roses) in the vase and when we were done they looked gorgeous.  We are sure Mom would have loved them.

Tallis and I putting the flowers in
So whether you are buying flowers to take to a dinner party, for a grave, or to treat YOURSELF, get them at Trader Joe’s.  They are fresh, they are very reasonably priced, and they are beautiful.

See - perfect bouquet
Price – varies by bouquet but this lovely one was only $5.99

Rating – 5 (5 for the beauty and quality of the flowers and 5 for the terrific customer service, too)


  1. On a recent trip to traders I could not locate my favorite candy coated licorice boxes. I asked an employee and he found a stash under a register. He said " I hate it when we kill a customer's favorite product". When I checked out he brought me a bouquet of flowers. They lasted beautifully for three full weeks. They were gorgeous I was so impressed!

  2. Wait a minute - he GAVE you a bouquet??? That is SO SWEET!!! I am sorry they are not going to make your favorite candy anymore, though. It is sad when they stop making stuff. But it was sure nice of him to treat you to flowers!!!

  3. OH MAN - it is a couple weeks later and I JUST FOUND the little sticky note where I wrote the lovely demo woman who helped us name!! She is TAMARA!!!! Thank you Tamara. Your kind smile and help really made a difference in my day.