I had the most unique experience weekend before last. It was one more encouraging example of how people in East Texas seek to help others in their community. In this case, it was getting a behind the scenes look at how East Texas-owned businesses support one another--even when, by most standards, they are competitors who work within the same industry. And so, I just wanted to brag on them.

Sometimes this world feels very "dog-eat-dog." It's the nature of the way our economy works, ya know? Whoever is fastest, better, biggest, and strongest--at the most primal level.

In the modern world, it tends to manifest in other ways: who gets the most good publicity. Who is able to get the best prices from their vendors--often meaning that the "biggest" tends to have an advantage in that way. And so on.

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But on this particular Saturday morning when I was out trying to find whatever remains of the summer flowers to plant, what happened was East Texas business neighbors helping one another.

I stopped by Breedlove Nursery first--often a go-to for me. It's just such a lovely place to be--even if you're not shopping for plants. Also, hands down, the coolest chicken houses in the back you've ever seen.

So, I walk in and ask about whether or not they had any flowers left. They did not. I would've been surprised if they had, seeing as I was EXTREMELY late in buying any. But as I was about to meander about just to admire how lovely everything was, one of the ladies who works there stopped me and pulled me aside.

"We may not have any flowers left for the season, but I know for a fact that Harris Nursery out toward Lindale does."

After pausing in surprise, I thanked her so much for that. I can't remember the last time I was at a business who didn't have what I was looking for and hearing them recommended a competitor. I was gob-smacked and grateful.

I'd never been before, but I decided to drive out to Harris Nursery and found that, yes, they did have EXACTLY what I was looking for--trailing vincas. When I was checking out I couldn't help but pass along what had transpired at Breedlove.

The lady at the counter smiled and said "yes, we often refer customers to them, too, when we don't have what they're looking for. Blue Moon Gardens in Edom, too." (Another favorite.)

How delightful. "Competitors" who are not only looking out for one another, but also helping their customers find what it is they seek.

So yes, Breedlove lost my little sale that day. But I promise ya this--I'll be back again and again. I want to do business with people who treat one another like THAT.

I'll also be visiting Harris Nursery (and Blue Moon Gardens) again, too.

Respect, y'all. Thanks for being class-acts, all.

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