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Pauline Lerner

A funny thing happened on my way to the luthier

December 23, 2007 at 8:21 AM

My bow was overdue for rehairing, so I put it in an empty violin case and started off for the luthier. I walked to the Metro station with my purse over one shoulder, my violin case over the other shoulder, and a small backpack containing a book to read on the train and bus plus a small snack. When I got close to the Metro station, a saw a huge batch of fresh flowers on the sidewalk next to a telephone pole. It looked like they had rolled downhill and were stopped by the telephone pole. I love flowers, and these didn't seem to belong to anyone, so I took a lot of them, concentrating on those with long stems and those that I know will keep well indoors. It was raining lightly, and my gloves and the flowers were wet. I suppose I looked like Ophelia from Hamlet. When I got to the luthier, I told the staff there to take as many of the flowers as they liked and asked them to wrap the remainder in something good to carry them in for me. They were delighted to have the flowers. They told me that they are always looking for things to put in the store window, and these would be just right. I gave them the bow to rehair and started walking to the bus stop. I passed a store with a sign that said "Antiques," so I went in. I would describe the place as a flea market.

I found a "creation" in bright orange, about 3 feet tall, of an outline of a violin and bow.

I bought it for the princely sum of $3.20, thinking that the staff at the luthier's shop might like it for their window.

When I got home, I put most of my flowers

in a large vase

and a few small, cheery looking ones in a small vase on my desk.

The next day, I walked to the Metro station again, and the flowers were still there. I found that most of them were in potted floral arrangements. The first one I picked up was too big and heavy to carry, but I found

a smaller one in a white basket which I picked up and carried home.

About a week later I went to the luthier to pick up my bow, carrying the orange violin, a gift of gourmet chocolates, and a hand written note of thanks to the staff. (The flowers were gone from the sidewalk this time.) First, I showed them the orange violin, and they were delighted. They believed that it would look great in their store window. They saw the pins sticking out of it where pegs should be, and one of the staff said that she had an idea for reconstructing the missing pegs. Then I pulled out the chocolates, and the whole staff gathered around the gift, all extremely happy with it.

I enjoyed the whole experience very much. I love making people happy.

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