Flowers For My Table

March 27th, 2005 · 3 Comments · Los Angeles, Writing


Yesterday I was driving over by the big Buddhist temple in Hacienda Heights. On a whim, I turned down a random street in a residential neighborhood. Sitting on the sidewalk next to a house with a “for sale/sold” sign was a complete dining room set with six chairs and two extra leaves.

I stopped the car to investigate. I’ve been wanting a dining room set. We’re always pulling stools and office chairs over to the studio tables when we have dinner parties. At one party, we sat a guest on an exercise ball.

The house was vacant, and the quiet street deserted. While I was looking over the table, a neighbor peeked out her front door and hollered to “take them. No one lives there. They’re free.”

The problem came when I tried to load everything up in the back of my station wagon. Just then, an elderly Chinese woman who was walking along stopped to help. She didn’t speak English and psshed away my attempts to assure her that I could load the furniture in my car by myself.

She helped me hoist the big table and flip it upside down and load it in the back of my wagon. I started stacking the chairs on top of the table, tetras-like. Apparently I wasn’t doing a very good packing job, and the woman playfully slapped my hands and wrested the chair away from me and re-oriented it so that everything would fit better. With her help, we got the table and chairs loaded.

I thanked her profusely and she pointed to show me that she lived two houses down. Then she smiled and poured into my hands the flower buds she’d been collecting on her walk and protecting in one cupped hand while we’d worked together.

“For you,” she said, bowing her head and smiling.

Category: Los Angeles · Writing

3 Comments so far ↓

  • Quinn

    That’s one of the cooler, more uplifting stories I’ve heard recently. Enjoy your dining room set!

  • Tibbie Newman

    What a great blessing to stumble across a simple kindness that touches the heart. You always find a way to make fortunate discoveries by accident – the definition of serendipity. Thanks for writing in such a way that makes me feel that I experienced the same kindness.
    Love, Mom

  • Meg

    Thanks! We’re working on refinishing and re-upholstering the table and chairs this weekend and will probably post pictures. I think it’ll turn out to be a stunning set.

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