Essential Alcohol and the Joy of Flowers

I’m not much of a drinker. Inside of one glass of wine I get so tired I am looking for the nearest couch to pass out on. For me there’s no point. I have things to do.

Recently I asked Samuel about why Virginia’s ABC stores are being considered essential during Corona. “C’mon, Mom, during a crisis you’d hardly want to take away people’s sedatives.” Fair enough. I get that. Part of well-being is managing anxiety, keeping your peace. I guess it’s the same nationwide, that alcohol is a must.

Then Claudia told me that the garden centers and hardware stores were already closed in Germany. My contact at our local building supply had already told me the store was closed but they would still deliver. Same for the tile store; there you can place an order and pick up. In my case, being almost done with the front porch, midway on the bathtub replacement and just starting the kitchen re-do and garden prep, this was worrisome.

UH-OH. So let’s make a list. What MIGHT we need, and let’s get it before we can’t. This involves a lot of math, including how many 2x4s for the railing pickets (once you rip and allow for the off-cut), how many 2x6s for the tops and bottoms, how many boxes of screws and other hardware so we don’t run out halfway across the porch? It involves tiles for the tub surround, sheetrock to cover the holes I am making in the kitchen area, plywood for cabinets, cherry for facings, drawer fronts, and cabinet doors, etc.

It also involves flowers. And what I want to know is this: If alcohol is considered essential, why aren’t flowers!!? If alcohol (in theory, and sometimes anyway) calms people and helps them cope, what about the things of beauty that bring us joy and feed our souls? What if I can’t get flowers??

I realize this is a big can of worms. What brings me joy and feeds my soul is different (vastly perhaps) than what you need. Where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential? Clearly I don’t have a say in this, so I thought through the risk of going to the local garden center I presumed to be open – it’s open-air and I can wear my PPE and keep my distance besides – and decided it was okay. Time for in cart (2)2mp

On a cart I gathered dianthus, snapdragons, pansies, daisies, two small azaleas, some random other flowers, two tomato plants, parsley and a bunch of seed packets, and got in line.

garden center2mp

Even here, I hardly wanted to breathe. But everyone seemed to be thinking the same thing and was most respectful. Note the socially distanced spacing. Will we ever stand near one another again and not worry? Turn on any movie or series or anything on film produced pre-March 2020 and see the proximity of humans!! The scenes at the MET on Moonstruck (hadn’t seen that movie in years; it helps me understand my Italian side), the subway in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (on Amazon now, yay!), the restaurant in As Good As It Gets (never get tired of that movie!) – surely there will be a pre- and post-Corona reality in everyone’s memories.

I wonder how many people will reflect on the good that came from this challenge and incorporate some of their newly discovered way of life into their post-Corona world. My friend Beverley yesterday called what she sees “the silver lining.” In her neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, she has seen “families out strolling, mulching, dog walking, tossing the frisbee, football, baseball. There were even some lil ones running thru the sprinkler in their front yard. And what’s so encouraging …Parked cars in the neighborhood, hardly any traffic. People are Staying Home! And warm weather is coming!!!! A combination that might conquer this beastly virus.”

How many people will rediscover chatting over the fence, sharing baked goods, fixing their own bike? I’m thrilled to see farmers finding new ways to get their produce to consumers, stay-at-homers enjoying the intrigue of sourdough bread, shelters with no dogs left in them because people at home like (and have time for) the companionship of a faithful (and surely grateful) pooch. In the broader, more serious picture, I am hopeful and confident that next year’s Nobel prize will go to those who come up with the cure/immunization. May they be successful soon!

We all have our ups and down, our lack of focus some days, our misgivings about the way things are handled, our frustrations at the inconveniences we face every day. Cabin fever may never be seen in the same light again. But hats off to those people who take the bull by the horns and show others that this is not altogether (that we know of anyway!) the end of the world, to those who find the balance between, on the one hand, seeing and responding appropriately to the tremendous seriousness of this virus and on the other, finding a way to manage their everyday stuff and see and applaud whatever good they can.

May God bless and preserve our health care workers and all the others risking their own life and safety in order for many people to have what they need. They are my heroes right now. None of them “signed up for this.” All of them face fears and hardships they never imagined. None of the rest of us would want to trade places with them. Talk about a rock and a hard place.

All of this will end. May we all look back and know we did the best we could. No more is expected of us than that 😊

Flowers in the garden – a palette of color that includes good dirt and fresh air – feeds my well-being. What feeds yours?

garden bed one2mp

7 thoughts on “Essential Alcohol and the Joy of Flowers

  1. Fun new kinds of cheese. I’m so glad the groceries are still open! I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t get my food joy.
    I feel like home Improvement stores are essential… what if someone gets a hole in their roof?


    • Right there with you on the joy of food — I usually have way too much in my pantry anyway, and got even more a few weeks earlier than the stores were being deluged with shoppers (a little birdie warned me). Oh, cheese! Wonderful cheese! (Remember the train scene in French Kiss where Meg Ryan is experiencing French cheese for the first time? The bliss!) It’s the fresh things we all will hanker for the most I think.
      Yes, and thank God the hardware and building supply stores here are still open. I placed a big order today just in case they get shut up too and can’t even deliver.

      Liked by 1 person

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