Feb. 28 qualifies as the lower descending colon of winter days. It’s part of the journey, but the stretch is dark and ugly. Bad news weighs more. Today, I barely had my apron tied when three women of middle years, one after another, came through the floral department and halted to admire the kalanchoe with screaming yellow blossoms. Each woman bought one. Each woman said, “I need something bright right now.”
Amen, sisters. Much gloomy word of late. Legendary reporter Barry Horstman dropped dead Monday in the newsroom at The Cincinnati Enquirer. Last month, la peregrina came for Bob Williams, ace newshound of many places, including The News & Observer in Raleigh. For those of us who love journalism — even now; especially now — these aren’t just deaths of co-workers. These are the winking out of stars.
But flowers command attention, in the here and now. So I sorted all the blooms on the three-bunches-for-$12 table by color. I watered the hydrangeas, blew up some mylar balloons for display. We still can’t sell those seven Medinilla magnifica, which are wicked cool plants with pendulous blossoms, like something out of Middle Earth. But people do balk at playing Kroger $34.99 for anything.
This month, the store sound system has played a Black History Month PSA that ends with the puzzling command: “Dream It. Do it. Own It. Join us in celebration.” Then tonight, the last night of February, Wine Steward Ronda asked for some table arrangements for her tasting in honor of Black History Month. She was pouring wines from South Africa.
I ran some boxes back to the crusher and returned to a woman waiting to get two helium balloons inflated. I asked how her gray winter day was going. Just great! she said. An hour before, she had learned that, six years after 30 radiation treatments on her larynx, she is free of cancer. Doctor calls her cured. No, she said, the balloons were for someone else. She was just happy with her good news.
Causes Anne Saker Supports
Freedom of thought.