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"In the Woods"
by Tana French

May 17, 2008

Rose Bowls

I was rearranging the remnants of the beautiful roses that Kay and Gary sent for Mother’s Day. Some were, alas, too far gone but it has been over a week since they arrived. I made a couple of arrangements. One was pink, variegated and peach roses in very pretty vase that Gary’s daughter, Katie, gave me and one was five deep red roses in a small vase. As I worked, I thought, about my mother and remembered the rose bowls that she had. Whatever happened to rose bowls?

I Googled “rose bowls” and found there was a dearth of places to look for rose bowls, although there was a lot of information about THE Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Those of us who are a little older remember our mothers and grandmothers having a rose bowl. Our mother would go out and pick a perfect rose and gently place it in a crystal or glass rose bowl half filled with water. If I remember correctly, she also had a rose bowl that one could fill completely with water and a rose, turn upside down, put the seal on and it would last a very long time, with the rose suspended in the water.

It seems that grandmothers nowadays are too busy playing tennis or golf or taking classes or finding themselves to do these kinds of things. The simple kinds of things I remember about my grandmother are:

. Soft cheeks
. Long braided hair
. A parlor where we could sit quietly
. Geraniums in her parlor in the winter
. Uncle Wiggly game
. Homemade ice-cream
. Filled cookies in a glass cookie jar

I think I know where I can find a plain, round, glass bowl in the house. I think I will go out and cut a perfect red rose and put it in the bowl and think of Mom and Grandma.

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