Dicy McCullough: Flowers help cure what ails you

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 23, 2012

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with my mom at K&W Cafeteria when a friend, Joyce Cable, walked past our table. Joyce waved and said, “Hello.” I waved back to her and said, “Hi.” Mom wanted to know who I was waving at and I told her, “A friend from church, Joyce Cable.”
Mom and I finished our meal and as we got up to leave, Joyce and her husband, Doug, were leaving too. I introduced Mom and that’s when Joyce said, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”
They both thought for a minute and finally figured out how they knew each other. When Mom was able to drive she used to go to the Farmers’ Market on West Innes Street. Often she would stop on Wednesdays or Saturdays when they were open and buy flowers from Joyce.
Joyce said she began selling flowers at the farmers’ market a few years after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, myasthenia gravis. Some of her symptoms were trouble with breathing and swallowing and feeling fatigued. Doing household chores like laundry often would wipe her out for hours. The symptoms became so bad that she finally had to quit her job at Food Lion’s corporate office. Even though Joyce couldn’t work full-time, her doctor advised her to find something she could do because it would help her condition.
Not long after Joyce talked with her doctor, friend Mary Knight suggested selling flowers might be the “right medicine” for her. Mary sold flowers at the Webb Road Flea Market and shared how much she enjoyed getting to know her customers.
At the time, the West Innes Farmers’ Market had empty spaces, so Joyce took her friend’s advice and began selling flowers. She loved it so much, she has sold them ever since.
She grows most of her flowers herself, but gets some from local wholesale nurseries as well. Over the years, she has sold hanging baskets, potted plants and cut flowers. She loves interacting with her customers, learning about their children, their dreams and sometimes even their problems.
When the market on West Innes Street moved to Main Street, not only did Joyce move, but her customers moved with her. Joyce says she and her husband, Doug, have been blessed and are amazed at how well they’ve done. Even though she still has bad days, just knowing someone is waiting to buy flowers makes the bad days seem a little better.
Can you imagine how many people have had their day brightened because of Joyce’s flowers? Many of them she will never meet or know because customers often bought flowers for someone else as a birthday present or a get-well gift.
It seems selling flowers was a perfect choice for Joyce after all because flowers stimulate something inside that just naturally makes a person feel better. If you are feeling sad or blue or have health problems, it may be time for you to start selling flowers, too. It could be “just what the doctor ordered.”
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Dicy McCullough is the author of “Tired of School.” Contact her at 704-278-4377.