The nice, little things

“It is the little things in life that comfort us, because it is the little things in life that bother us.” —Pascal [1]

After a couple of summers of not bothering with flowers on my balcony, I felt inspired this year and bought pansies, which are not only a favorite flower, but also a flower I manage to maintain. So after enjoying my one window box for a while, and since I won’t be leaving home for weeks at a time this year, I indulged in planting a second window box, this time with Chinese carnations, a flower I’d had success with earlier.

It is one of those oddities in life that the people who enjoy doing dishes bare-handed often wear gloves while digging in the dirt, and vice-versa. I use rubber gloves when washing up, but I love feeling the soil between my fingers as I break up lumps and set the little plants in holes I’ve dug in the dirt. So, on a hot summer’s day 10 days ago, I pored fresh soil into my empty window box, set the carnations in it, then stood to hang the box up.

That’s when I realized I had nothing to hang the box on. In a decluttering frenzy earlier this spring, I had tossed out the old rusty ones I had.

I spent Saturday hunting for the metal hangers but had no luck, whatsoever. They all said, try a nursery. Those are, by nature, located where they have enough room to show their larger plants and so are not downtown and hardly near a bus. I spent Saturday evening trying to work out which one was near a bus line, and then, whether or not that bus ran on Sundays (in Norway, nurseries are the only stores, besides kiosks, that are allowed to be open on Sundays). It felt like more work than it was worth. The hangers cost less than the round-trip bus fare.

I actually said to myself at one point, “You’re always lucky, Keera. Where’d your luck go now?”

That’s when I decided not to fuss any more and certainly not on Sunday, so I left it all to Monday when I could call a nursery closer to home (though a good walk up a hill). I told a friend at work about my unexpected challenge, and then I never got around to making that phone call.

Which was a good thing, because the next day my friend texted me and said he’d found some and just went ahead and bought them. The sweetie!

So now my new flowers are where they should be (if not angled perfectly), and I am still a lucky girl.

[1] I have tried to find an online source/verification for the above quote because it is such a wonderful quote, but I can’t, so I’ll trust that my memory is accurate. UPDATE: Max found the original; see comments. My version is translated from the Norwegian translation I had first read.

By Keera Ann Fox

I am a bi-lingual American who has lived most of my life in Norway.
Jeg er en tospråklig amerikaner som har bodd mesteparten av mitt liv i Norge.

7 replies on “The nice, little things”

Thanks, Sravana, I knew it looked funny but couldn\’t put my finger on it right then and there.Jon, I don\’t think that\’s saying the same thing as what Pascal said.Alice, whether you mean the situation or the flowers, I agree!Ah, I knew someone would come through for me! Thank you, Max!


Oh, that. The \”less elegant\” threw me. Vice-versa makes more sense to me. :-)I don\’t know why I\’m lucky. I also don\’t know why I never thought life was unfair when I was a kid and life was unfair. I guess it\’s that Sagittarian seeing the big picture.


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