Waiting for Magnolia Blooms


“The little tree out front is going to bloom this year,” my husband declares every time spring rolls around. I’m not holding my breath for that first creamy blossom to welcome me to the South. For eight springs I’ve examined the candle-like growths curled tight and pale as we High Plains people think a magnolia bloom should begin. Every year the spikes unfurl into glossy new leaves, green as last year’s crop.

Studying the tree from our front porch the evening we listed our too-big-for-us-now place for sale, I thought how much of life people spend waiting for something.

As children, we can scarcely wait until Christmas or that other special day on our particular religious calendar. As teens we count down years, months, and days to get that driver’s license, go to prom, graduate high school, and finally receive that college degree. And then we anticipate the first solid job, the wedding day, and for those with a family in mind, the first baby.

Parents relive those same exciting milestones through their children’s eyes, mourn when a child’s dream shatters.

One thing I’ve learned about life is that sometimes the unexpected outdoes what we’ve long anticipated. I’d given up on the wisteria we planted out back seven years ago. This year the gnarly vine burst into blooms that cascaded down the trellis in lavender clusters beyond my imagination. The magnolia in bloom wouldn’t have been any lovelier.

Life heaps surprises at our feet. My husband and I don’t want to leave this wonderful neighborhood–I can’t picture another street occupied by so many nice people. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m waiting to see. Whatever happens, I’ve learned that life is better when one takes the unexpected in stride, be it good, or not so much.

Disappointments are best left to wither in the past, but I’d like to know if some of my readers have experienced something unexpected that enriched their lives.



4 thoughts on “Waiting for Magnolia Blooms

  1. Susabelle Kelmer July 9, 2015 / 10:29 pm

    Four years ago, at fifty years of age, I was laid off from my job. There was no work in my state, as the economy had finally slowed hiring to nil. I had to move across the country for work in my specialized field.

    I survived. I’d almost say I thrived. I’m writing again (and getting published!). I have new friends, and a new view. I have a wonderful job that is going to give me a decent retirement at some point.

    Rachel Wolchin said, “My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn’t go as planned, and that’s okay.”


    • Raymona Anderson August 14, 2015 / 7:12 pm

      Susabelle, you know how busy I’ve been, but I finally got to the comments. You have done great in your new setting, and are going to have a great writing career. Onward and upward.


  2. Ilona Fridl July 10, 2015 / 9:54 am

    I really made an uncharted journey when I followed my parents in 1971 to Wisconsin from California. I had a so-so job and I sought adventure. It was in the cards, because I met my husband here and have raised a family. No regrets.


    • Raymona Anderson August 14, 2015 / 7:11 pm

      I’m slow to tend my blog, and just now found your comment. I must do better. Thanks for sharing how the unexpected dividend of husband and family. Worked out well.


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