Monday, May 18, 2015

Taking Chances

by Terri

 “Necessity is the mother of taking chances.” ~Mark Twain

Well, I have to admit that title sounds a lot more dramatic than this post is going to be, but taking a chance is exactly what I did.  Let’s go back to the beginning.

First of all, I love peonies!  I mean LOVE them! Every year when they arrive at Trader Joe’s, I buy as many bouquets of them as I can in the 3-4 weeks they are here. I know some of you are lucky enough to be able to grow your own peonies but I think trying to grow them here in the desert would be an exercise in futility.

So each year I am running back and forth to Trader Joe’s every 4-5 days buying a new bouquet. Then last year I heard about putting a bunch in the refrigerator. The thought was that I could buy two bouquets,  put one in a vase in the house and one in the refrigerator and when the first bunch wilted I wouldn’t  have to run back to Trader Joe’s for more, I could just bring in a bunch from the outside refrigerator.  I know right now you’re thinking, “Does this woman have a life?” But I always convince myself that it’s worth it because, after all, it’s only a few weeks out of the year. But the thought that I could buy two bunches and keep one in suspended animation until the first had wilted and not have to go quite so often to Trader Joe’s, well I decided it was worth a try to see if it worked. Peonies, as I am sure you are aware, are the most gorgeous flower to photograph! 

So when the peonies first came into Trader Joe’s this year, I bought two bunches and put one in a vase on my kitchen table and one in water in my outside refrigerator.  The experiment seemed to be working! The bunch in the outside refrigerator stayed in tight little buds while the bunch in the house continued to open. After five days, the bunch in the house was starting to drop petals and I knew it was time to say goodbye.  I went out to bring in the bunch from the outside refrigerator and was aghast to discover that they had frozen!  Yes, in the refrigerator!  The water they were in was frozen solid and the round balls of peony buds were hard as rocks!  I was so disappointed!   But I don’t give up easily. I decided to take a chance and  bring them in, “defrost” them and see.

Here’s what happened:

Yes!  They were really none the worse for wear, believe it or not! They opened and bloomed as if they hadn't spent the last five days in solid ice.  I’m sorry I was so upset by the freezing of my precious peonies that I didn’t think to take a photo to show you, but I think you can imagine what it looked like.

I think I’m still a little in awe that I could make such an error in judgment (I think my refrigerator needs to have the temperature reset!)  and still have it turn out okay. When I first saw them frozen solid, I was tempted to throw them in the trash, but I decided to take a chance and see what happened. 

And it got me to thinking: sometimes things can look hopeless but if we are just willing to take a chance and see what happens, we can be pleasantly surprised. Taking chances can be scary, especially for someone like me who tries so hard to know what’s coming down the road at all times. But when you stick your neck out and take a chance, the reward can be so worth it.  I’m going to remember this little peony story the next time I’m presented with the option of taking a chance and I just might take it.

“Yes, risk taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called 
sure-thing-taking.”  ~Tim McMahon

Are you a risk taker or someone who plays it safe? Obviously this was a small risk. If it didn't work out, it was just $6.99 down the drain. But it made me think about stepping outside my box of predictability and taking a few risks now and then. 
How about you? 


Dotti said...

That peony story is so funny! Photos would have been priceless. Glad they turned out okay. No, put me down in the play it safe column. I do not like taking chances, I like to plan and do my best to avoid unwanted events. But of course, we don't really have as much control over life events as we think we do, so we might as well take chances and have an adventure. After all, life is nothing if not an adventure

kelly said...

Such a great story Terri! And I can grow peonies in my garden, but the season so short. Mine are already dropping their petals....I'm going to try the refrigerator trick next year! I love that yours are so open in the center...maybe it's time for me to find a variety like that. What a beautiful way to start the week!

Kathy McB said...

Too funny..."I" just posted about peonies too! Gorgeous shots!

AFishGirl said...

These days it seems I can barely get it together enough to get groceries in the fridge so I am VERY impressed at the peony story ! Yes, we never know, right? Life is full of many surprises. Have a lovely week.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Terri! I tend to lean toward the safe mode, due to too many disappointments. But like you said, if you don't go out on a limb and take a risk then you might miss out on something that is as GORGEOUS as your Peonies! Your photos are absolutely beautiful....thanks for sharing!

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