Why it’s never too late to add to your skill set

Learning new skills can seem daunting and overwhelming, but two local women share their excitement of learning a new trade.

Cheri Robertson, a baby boomer, was one of six people who decided to take a floral design class at John Wood Community College.

“I feel that you are never too old to learn something new and that keeping active physically and mentally is one of the best things you can do for your own well-being,” Robertson said.

The group met in March for two classes.

Robertson, her daughter, and her granddaughter decided to take the class together for a fun spring outing and to apply to their summer activities.

Robertson’s family history with flowers is important to her, and it was motivation to expand her knowledge.

“I’ve always wanted to learn the proper way to arrange fresh flowers,” Robertson said. “Also, my mother became a floral designer after she retired, and I felt like it was a way to honor her memory too.”

Lori Miller, daughter of Robertson, saw the class as an opportunity to spend time with her family and reminisce a skill that she grew up admiring.

“My grandmother worked at Special Occasions, which was once a popular event planning and décor business,” Miller said. “She also worked in the County Market floral department. She was very creative and had a natural eye for design and what looked appealing. She even helped to decorate the church and reception hall for my wedding.”

Miller spoke with excitement when she recalled how her grandmother’s helping hand made her wedding “elegant and special.”

“She made numerous large-scale silk and fresh arrangements for my wedding,” Miller said. “She incorporated stargazer lilies with a huge fireside basket and a concrete angel statue. I’ve had the angel from the arrangement sitting in my yard since 1997.”

Miller spoke of how she will incorporate new tips and tricks into her own floral designs and arrangements like her grandmother once did.

“I’d love to continue to make arrangements in my spare time for not only myself but also family and friends,” Miller said. “I think it is important to take time to continually better yourself and learn new skills.”

Robertson has floral projects and ideas of her own for this year.

“I’m planning on starting a flower garden to have easy access for fresh flowers to use for the arrangements I’ll be making later this summer and fall,” Robertson said. “I truly enjoyed the class and learned several techniques that I’ll be able to incorporate into future arrangements. I learned that the current trend for flower arranging is not as structured as it once was, and it seems to be more acceptable to use your own personal taste in arranging the bouquets. I also learned how to start layering the greenery as the base and then to add the various flowers throughout the bouquet or arrangement.”

Robertson hopes to participate in more creative opportunities to broaden her skills.

“I will definitely take additional classes in the future,” Robertson said.  

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