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  • Kate Barker

Thinking about The Rose and Life

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Valentine’s Day is over…a startling 200 million roses were delivered to lucky recipients! A staggering number, right?

Why are roses the flower of choice for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and other special occasions? I don’t know the why for anyone else...

But…my love affair with roses began over sixty years ago…because of my precious husband, Phillip, who at the time was my dreamy boyfriend.

Phil and I were still in high school when he started bringing me roses. His part-time paychecks went for gas and car insurance. He couldn’t afford to buy me flowers from a florist, so he’d bring me roses thoughtfully clipped from his mom’s rose bushes…their stems adorably wrapped in tin foil.

Once in a while, he’d give me the roses with a poem he’d written. Sometimes he brought his five-string banjo and sang me a love song he’d composed and then handed me an enchanting bouquet of roses! Who could resist such a handsome romantic guy? Not me!

Three days after Phil turned 20 we got married!

Our local florist was not ecstatic when I explained I only wanted two red roses for my bridal bouquet. To us these two red roses were symbolic of our love and our passion to begin life together. We had no idea that red roses also represented sacrifice and courage. Understanding those meanings came later in our life.

Over the years we decided that the Rose was symbolic of our life. Those gorgeous blooms characterized the joyous moments…and the thorns signified the sorrows and pain we experienced as we walked out our journey together.

And, we discovered the Rose is quite the survivor!

In the late 1990’s we bought a ranch in Lake City, Surprise Valley, California. The first summer we were there a dormant Wild Rose bush began to grow and bloom!! It had survived for years without consistent care!!

We haven’t lived at the ranch for over twenty years. We do go up and stay for days and sometimes weeks, though. One year we planted this pretty yellow rose…and it has persevered…with little care!!

Our roses in Redding endure extreme heat…over 110 degrees. Our roses at the ranch carry on and bloom…despite harsh winters and very little attention!

The Rose is a survivor!

Like us in our life together.

We survived each other (LOL), we survived the good times, the hard times, the sorrowful and the joyous times! That’s why we’ve always said the Rose is Our Forever Flower!!

Wishing you all a Tea-lightful week!


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Leah Alexander
Leah Alexander

This brought tears to my eyes. Not hard to do these days with pregnancy hormones but I love hearing about you and Phil's love. You two will always be a role model in my mind of two strong powerful people who chose to keep choosing each other. I have loved each of you SO much and will always. Thank you for sharing these tender moments.

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