...my mom! thank you so much for tracking down the "mystery flowers" - they're phlox. not just any phlox, but Phlox paniculata 'David's Lavender'. And my mom, in addition to being gardener-extraordinaire (seriously, she can grow just about anything, in any climate, and can give advice about what grows well where...sadly, my sister seems to have inherited all of my mom's gardening genes...or at least that's how I explain me knowing nothing, and struggling to learn anything!) is also internet wonder-woman! I can only imagine the searching techniques she employed to find the exact match for the photo of my mystery flowers. thank you!