As lethargic as Daria was feeling this morning, she did not envision having a very fun time at botanical gardens with her cousin today. Romo, a photographer, had mailed her a folder containing photos of the rarest orchids in South America two weeks previous, which he had taken last month on his excursion to Chile. Daria was an orchid fanatic and had a trip to Chile on her bucket list. The magnificence of the orchids called to her like distant relatives.
Attached to the photos was a note from Romo, saying that the local botanical gardens was hosting a traveling rare orchid exhibit and there would be raffle drawings to possibly win one of the rare orchids. Romo’s note concluded with, “We are GOING to this!” Dario responded to Romo with a text, saying she would love to go.
It seemed like the day after the plans were made that Daria’s right ear started to give her some trouble. It buzzed, then it ached, then it caught on fire. Cottonballs, sweet oil, warm compresses, nothing seemed to work. Finally, the day before the orchid show, Daria was able to get into her doctor’s office. Daria had a severe fungal infection in her ear canal; the doctor prescribed ear drops and an over-the-counter pain reliever. Daria immediately began the treatment, and it helped alleviate the burning and pain, but she was up every 3 hours in the night putting the drops in.
When the alarm went off, she almost texted Romo to tell him she couldn’t make it. She composed it and was about to hit “send” when she noticed Romo’s folder on the dresser with the photos on top of it. No, tired or not, earache or not, she had to go and see these natural wonders of delicate beauty, with a possibility of winning one.
Romo picked her up at 11 on the dot. The domed botanical gardens were a 20 minute drive. Romo talked about his Chilean vacation on the ride. A true blessing was that Daria’s ear was feeling fine. After paying admission, they followed the signs to the exhibit. An informational table was set up; on it, raffle tickets were strewn. Daria, a great believer in lucky numbers, was looking for a likely combo on them when all of a sudden a small iguana ran across the table and stopped on a ticket, then looked right at Daria. Just as abruptly, the iguana ran off and up a nearby bamboo stalk. Daria snatched that ticket up and put her info on it. She bought a total of 5 raffle tickets.
Romo was absorbed with taking pictures. Daria walked along each crowded aisle and marveled at the sheer variety of shapes and sizes of the epiphytes. She took a few photos of her favorites. After finishing with the orchids, Romo and Daria enjoyed the rest of the gardens. They returned when the raffle winner’s names were drawn – Daria was a winner! Guess which ticket won? She confirmed it was the one she’d drawn a tiny iguana on the back of.