A few years ago I bought a red flowering crabapple tree and carefully planted it in our yard. But it didn't exactly thrive - in fact, one by one the leaves started dropping off! My husband failed to see the urgency of the situation. "Give it a little time," he murmured.

The next spring it did a little better - it had swelled buds and leaves, but no flowers. "That does it! I'm getting rid of the flowering crabapple!" I sputtered.

Jim surveyed the scraggly branches. "Maybe this isn't the flowering kind. Some of 'em never blossom, you know."

"But the tag says: Flowering, Crabapple, Red!"

The third spring came. Still no red flowers. But this time Jim took me outside and showed me some tiny clusters of red balls nestled in among the leaves. "Blossoms?" I asked, incredulous.

"Blossoms!" he said.

Now, as I watch the little red tree become brilliant with color, it reminds me of how impatient I can be with other things in my life.

-Vickie Schad