ZEPHRYHILLS, Fla. (FOX 13) - One Zephyrhills man showed that Valentine's Day isn't so much about the physical gift, but the gesture and consistency.
Marion Smith Florist in Zephryhills describes the week leading up to the romantic holiday as "hell week," as thousands of orders pour in. It is a staple in the community and has been for decades.
"Back in (1953) is when Marion Smith Florist originally created the 'florist' and we have been here since the 80s," said John Curtis, who works at the business.
Over the years, they've had repeat customers but there is definitely one who is more "repeat" than others. Darrell Pennington had been buying, typically a single rose, once a week for his wife for the past 28 years.
"It seemed like the thing to do every week," Darrell said. "It's not so much the rose. I mean it is a rose, but it's the thought to me."
"You know once you start this, you can't stop," his wife, Patricia, said with a laugh. "And he hasn't stopped."
Darrell has gifted her a rose ever week for nearly three decades. If you did the math, that would add up to 1,400 roses. However, that figure would be if he gave her a single rose. Sometimes, on special occasions, it would be a bouquet.
For Darrell and Patricia, it goes far beyond the red petals. It's the show of love that is more meaningful that the flower of love.
"It's the thought that counts," Patricia said, "that somebody, even after 28 years, would go out of their way to make you feel special. I'm a very, very, very lucky woman. Very lucky."