Rockwall Herald-Banner (Texas)


May 16, 2014

Making lasting memories on Mother's Day

Mother’s Day can be a pretty hectic time of year for my family.

My mom owns a florist shop, and there are really only two days out of the year where she gets slammed with tons of orders: Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

And why not? Flowers are usually a staple gift to give to a loved one on those two days.

Since my mom took over the shop, I’ve been helping her deliver the hundreds of arrangements that people order for their mothers on that special day. It’s a great way to repay her for everything she has done for me, and for letting her know how appreciative I am to have her in my life.

I deliver flowers for her every year, and will continue to do so until she decides to give up the shop or let me run it.

This past Mother’s Day was no exception to our little routine. I must have delivered close to 50 arrangements in two days (I believe she had over 500 local orders in total).

And then I gave her a gift: a piece of decorative art that had a bunch of angel fish on it. I know she likes that kind of thing, but every year I second guess my gifts to her (I always will, I’m more picky than she is when it comes to gifts).

She said she liked it. I guess I’ll have to take her at her word.

After a rather pleasant dine-in experience at Buzzbrews off of Commerce Street in Dallas, we went to a place I haven’t visited in forever: the Dallas Zoo.

I have to admit, I didn’t think we’d see anything of any real interest there, since it was an overcast day.

But when the sun started peeking out of the clouds, I guess it gave the animals more energy, and we actually got to see several of them do something besides take a nap in their little caged-in habitats.

I was our guide, as is traditional whenever our family goes to zoos or theme parks. For some reason, I have a natural ability to navigate my way around those types of places, even if I’ve never been or haven’t been in years.

Anyway, since I took the lead, I decided to make a nice round loop throughout the zoo, starting with exhibits I thought would be interesting but less so than the Giants of Africa (gorillas, giraffes, elephants).

I’ve been to zoos several times in my life, but rarely do I ever see anything actually move. I guess that’s why I quit going a while back. Thought I could catch something more entertaining on Animal Planet.

But this trip was quite different… and much more energizing. The animals actually did stuff besides sit there. Like in one exhibit (one of the great ape exhibits, if my memory serves) there were two monkeys that were messing with each others’ fur, cleaning it or something. It was fun to watch them move around, swinging from branch to branch with their ridiculously long arms.

We came upon a type of parakeet, which I assume was trained not to leave its area, since it wasn’t caged in. It started doing this funny thing where it would bob its whole body up and down really fast, like it was jumping or trying to jump. Even more hysterical was the fact that it seemed to do that on command.

My mom egged it on, telling it jump. And that’s exactly what it did. Smart little creatures, parakeets.

We witnessed a short but fairly entertaining bird show, and got to see giraffes almost come right up to us to feed.

By far the best sight of the day was the gorilla exhibit. When we walked into the Gorilla Overlook, three of them were resting right up against the glass. I could have reached out and touched them, they were so close.

Their sleeping positions were fascinating, and a little humorous, too. One of them looked like it was praying, on its knees with its head bowed down against its hands, which were clasped together. The one right next to it lay on its back, its feet propped up against the glass, its arms spread wide and its head tilted back.

The biggest of the three, the one closest to my position leaned its head on its gigantic arm, and stared at the sky. It looked so human, resting there like that.

It was a lot of walking, but by the end of it, I was glad we had decided to take a trip to the zoo.

You’re welcome, mom. Hope we can do it again soon.

Austin Wells is a reporter for the Rockwall Herald-Banner and Royse City Herald-Banner. He can be reached via email at

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