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I’m seeing bright scarves of white flowers hanging on trees. It has a bridal appearance—to me, it looks like scarf upon scarf of white blossoms veiling slender shoulders. The whirling dervishes, the bridal gowns are actually white dogwoods.

They usually appear near Easter. This year, they are especially beautiful in the Ozark Mountains.

As I look on them, I also think of the beautiful gowns and prom dresses I saw last weekend while Haven, a granddaughter, and I shopped for her prom dress. We asked at two shops about prom dresses. Twice we heard the word “PJ’s.”

When I heard it the second time, we gave up shopping in town and headed for PJ’s Bridal Fashions & Design on West Road, near the edge of Mountain Home. We drove past it, asked a passerby checking her mailbox, and finally called the shop. That’s what it took to find a small frame house with a small, humble sign.

The driveway, on the other hand, was full of cars and trucks. Inside, a world of colorful dresses and white bridal gowns. We were in the right place to rent a gown, shoes, jewelry for the weekend.

We stepped inside and stood still, trying to take in what we were seeing. My grandgirl, now 18, was smitten by all the hustle-bustle. I was overwhelmed by the dress options. It was as if we’d walked into a party—laughter on the side, a woman taking measurements, and long, flowing dresses, everywhere.

Clouds of gowns—white, scarlet, blue, saffron, black.... A kind lady was rolling with the rhythm of high school girls trying on gowns. The atmosphere seemed to change as one girl came in and one went out into the bright sun.

It only took Haven an hour to find the right color, the right size. In the midst of the warm room, a prom dress was chosen—royal blue. This time, Haven cocked her head when she looked at herself in the mirror.

My eyes brightened. “Is this the one?”

She moistened her lips. “Yes. This is it!” She looked back at me.

“I think you’re right. Yes, this is it. You look absolutely beautiful.”

This was nothing like a Tupperware or an essential oil party, nothing like shopping for a new pair of jeans. This was more like shopping for a bright flower among other stunning flowers.

How do you choose the dress you wear for a special evening? There’d be a corsage, a hair-do, of course, and now, Haven had found her dress! I think we were beyond happy—we were euphoric!

When it was Haven’s turn for the matron to check everything on the dress, an alteration was suggested. Gentleness was in her words. The woman was wise and beautiful in her own way.

Our woman-girl did not go to a prom last year because of the pandemic. This would be her first. This would be her last. Her family wants it to be perfect.

As we left the shop, Haven threw up her arms like a cheerleader and whooped! The perfect touch.

Today, I’m grateful for dogwood blooms, a prom, PJ’s, colorful gowns, fragrances I can never name, and gentle ladies who rent beautiful gowns.

Pause—a redbird sighting. I’m transfixed. Another beautiful gift from our Maker. I do not want to miss the beauty He gives to me. I stand there looking, ignoring my kitchen work. I ask God for the eyes to see whatever He puts before me. I think I long for such beauty.

God bless,

Pat Durmon

P.S. I am grateful for each of my blog readers. Every single one. You know your beautiful name. Thank you. Thank you for every comment or email you’ve sent me, for passing my blog along to someone else. Thank you for when you told someone else how to sign up for my blog. I love our connections and having you as part of my community.

Prom dresses at PJ's in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Photograph by Pat Durmon, April 2021.

Books by Pat Durmon


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