Over the weekend, we went to visit my dad at the National Cemetery in Sarasota. We always try to make it a point to visit on important days like his birthday and holidays or at least in the neighborhood of those holidays.
I wanted to take flowers. In years past I have found beautiful holiday themed bouquets to bring. Not special order things, nothing fancy like from a real flower store, but purchased from the local Grocery store or even a Walmart...something like that. Ordinarily they would have really a tremendous variety of lovely themed bouquets with little doodads stuck in, perhaps a bit of glitter, themed colours, pretty wrappings, things like that. They would be ready made and sitting out just waiting for someone like me to come by, be delighted by them, and of course purchase. This year however? Nope.
Oh there were flowers. But just ordinary regular run of the mill flowers. And for me, a visit to my dad, especially on Christmas, requires something more special.
Our first stop was Costco because we needed to be there anyway. And they have a flower section that we remembered as having a lot of variety. And choices there were indeed. We could have any goldor white or orange or purple flowers that we wanted.. Pretty, but more Autumnish and not so much Christmas. And oddly, each bouquet was one solid colour and that one colour only. I was disappointed and surprised. Where was the glitz and the glitter that Christmas requires? Dang. So we moved on to another store.
Which also had nothing special. They had more than one colour in each bouquet which is an improvement but none of them looked, specifically, like Christmas. I love a multi-colour grouping of flowers, I do, but when I think of Christmas I don't think of, pink, lavendar, white and yellow. That says more Easter to me. Or just an ordinary no particular reason bouquet. Or maybe a Birthday offering. But not Christmas. So we moved on.
Last stop was even worse. The pre-made bouquets were very small, for one thing, and not very healthy looking. A bit droopy, a lot of broken stems and I noticed that the bouquets were largely filler, ferns and "Babies Breath" and other greenery. Seriously the ratio of flower to filler was definitely lop-sided. Not good. Terribly disappointing. But then we remembered that on our way in to the store we walked past racks upon racks of potted poinsettias. Now there is a flower that speaks of Christmas. There was no sparkle, no sequins, no fancy froufrous but at least it was a Christmassy flowering plant.
So we went back outside, picked the best looking poinsettia plant, purchased it and headed back out to the cemetery.
We were disappointed once again to see that there weren't the usual wreaths on the headstones that we've come to expect. It's always so striking to see that rows upon row of stark white markers hung with beautiful green wreaths. It is so beautiful and striking and stark and sad and touching and then beautiful again. But there was not a single wreath to be seen. Perhaps it's yet to come this year. I hope so.
The National Cemetery is thoughtful enough to not only provide shears to trim flowers and ground vases to put them in, but they also have a spigot to water your flowers or plants. So we made good use of that and gave the potted poinsettia a thorough soaking. Hopefully that will help it to last through Christmas Day.
We left the poinsettia, visited a bit, caught my dad up on things, and toured the grounds for a short while. It is a truly beautiful place and I know that sounds strange. But it is. It's lovely and peaceful.
So that's the story of the, apparent, glitzy, christmassy flower bouquet shortage this year. The shortage of toilet paper didn't surprise me one bit. The pretty Christmas bouquet shortage definitely caught me by surprise.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.