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Say It With Flowers, Or Go Milk Their Cow
By Anna Bahney
Excerpted from The New York Times
June 6, 2004

The ease of ordering flowers has caused fresh-cut bouquets to become the default get-well gift. But as these four women, whose businesses involve thinking about these things, point out, there is nothing more depressing for a sick person than watching flowers die. Here are their suggestions for tasteful, creative, and thoughtful alternatives for a friend with an ailment, whether it is a broken ankle or broken marriage.

MaryJane Butters, an organic farmer and author who lives in Moscow, Idaho, sells her food products in health food stores and on her Web site.

“I usually go to the person’s home. I’ll bring something along, some food maybe, but that’s not as important as showing up. Do you need your cow milked? A foot rub? Can I draw you a bath? Clean up? Any little thing. For people in a rural area, the methodology is to outdo each other with kindness. It is the kindness Olympics.”

See The New York Times Archive for the entire article.