Welcoming spring with Sister Anna Maria

An old saying goes, “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.”

As a young girl, I saw my first bed of pansies on my grandmother’s farm near Fort Jennings in northwestern Ohio. I was captivated by the brilliant colorful petals almost resembling a smiling human face, and I learned that pansies thrive in the cool spring temperatures. Certain varieties of pansies, planted directly into the ground, can even survive mild Ohio winters.

My grandmother’s yard sported other flowering plants as well. I remember seeing climbing roses, clematis, mums, petunias and hostas. But my favorite flower remains the pansy, and now when spring arrives in Dayton, I find my way to a garden center to purchase and pot these lovely beauties.

Now retired after 45 years of active ministry as a Sister of the Precious Blood in education, administration and pastoral care, I share my joy with Sisters and staff as I grow and care for flowers. Memories are shared; questions are answered; photographs are taken — and some persons even feel encouraged to grow their own pots of pansies.

— Story by Sister Anna Maria Sanders; contributed photo

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