Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and has become a moveable feast of word or picture or music prompts to encourage us to write stories, poems, or whatever strikes our fancy.
This month, the prompts are being provided by C. Lee McKenzie.
This week's words are:
Some may not REALIZE i used to deliver flowers for a local florist as a contract driver for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
Most of the time it was a DELIGHT. After all, who doesn't like getting flowers? Some expected them, but others did not know they would be getting a delivery, and that was fun, to surprise them.
Each time i rang a DOORBELL or entered an office building or restaurant or school, i felt like i was on a mission from Cupid. Some were FLUMMOXED, especially when it was a gift to a man from a woman.
Some people just sent flowers for Valentine's Day, roses were the most popular. If it was an arrangement with other flowers, we drivers INSPECTED any lilies and pulled out the stamens, as when the pollen falls off of them onto the flower, it starts the flower wilting faster.
Often there was a STUFFED animal along for good measure. In many cases, a HEART-SHAPED BOX containing CHOCOLATE-COVERED cherries or other candy was included, WRAPPED tight. Often i thought, there goes the DIET!
These extras were usually tied to the flower vase so they wouldn't get separated. This meant we had to pack our deliveries very carefully to prevent the water in vases from sloshing out and landing on the extras. It had flower preservative in it, and it was STICKY when it dried, there was no way i ever wanted to get that on the candy or fur of the animals.
It was a fun job that i wish i had time to do now.
Below i am reprinting my Hints for making sure you get those flowers this year.
Once again, from the point of view of the person who just might be delivering your flowers, a few hints for how to make my job easier and assure that you will get those flowers there.
1. Order early. Earlier than that. Yes, that early.
Here's the thing. The florists order lots and lots of flowers, and some are going to be in better shape than others. The nicest ones get used first. By 3pm on Valentine's Day, they are using the ones they would have passed over earlier. Ordering ahead, and ordering for early delivery, gets you the nicest selection.
Get them delivered the day before, to get extra points with your sweetheart. It means you didn't dawdle, you have flowers today, dinner out and a gift tomorrow, you made a big thing of it. It also means you get the nicest flowers, as noted above. And, if we can't find your location or have trouble, we have time for a redelivery.
Think about it. You have flowers or candy or cupcakes or whatever delivered a day before. You come home with a card. Then, on the big day, you still go out for dinner and all the trimmings. You have just let this person know you are not simply waiting for someone to slap you upside the head and tell you to get with it, the big day is tomorrow. You are plotting and planning and putting thought into a buildup. It goes a long way, baby.
2. Mark your home well! This is for your benefit as well as ours. After all, if we can't find you, what makes you think the EMTs can find you in the middle of the night? (please note i wrote this hint back in the days when you had a buy a GPS, it wasn't included on your phone; since the GPS can be wrong, having your house number clearly marked is still a good idea for helping delivery people and emergency personnel find you)
3. Delivery drivers know the town in general, but not every single side street, business, nook and cranny. Give us your whole, complete address. This means include:
Avenue, Street, Boulevard, Drive, Circle, Lane, or whatever is in the actual title of your street.
Your apartment complex name and apartment number
or the nursing home name and room number
or the business name and office number/division of the business where your sweetheart works.
You know where it is, but we don't, and it's no fun having to guess.
4. If you live in a gated community, please tell us, and give us a way to get in. It's frustrating not to be able to get to your home because we need a code. Give us a phone number, and i'll talk more about that later.
5. The same goes for if you are having flowers delivered to a limited access work place. Make sure we can get in there to it. More than once i've had to wait until someone was leaving the building to beg to be brought in, and had to register, and all of that. Again, a phone number helps.
6. If you and your sweetheart are both at work all day, give us permission, when you place the order, to leave the flowers in a safe place by your back door, under a patio, or with a neighbor.
7. Tell us what time your sweetheart gets off work, if you really want us to go there. It's frustrating to get there a half hour after s/he got off for the day.
8. About phone numbers: tell your sweetheart to answer the phone! Yes, you usually don't answer if you don't recognize the number. Tell him/her to answer anyway, on this day, because there is a surprise coming. Give us your number as well, and answer it. If we can get in touch with you, or your sweetheart, we can work out most delivery complications easily.
9. High school students, please do not ask us to deliver to the school. The people in the carpool lane get very upset with us, as they think we are cutting in line, and your sweetheart doesn't need the aggravation of trying to bring a bouquet home on the bus.
10. Remember your driver is paid only for completed deliveries. Time is of the essence for us, we want to successfully deliver as many items as we can, for the joy it brings you and the money it brings us. There's no shame in earning some extra cash by doing this service, so help us serve you better by following the tips above!
Anniversary of Treaty of Tartu -- Estonia
Bonza Bottler Day™
Candlemas -- Christian -- or Presentation of Our Lord (f/k/a the Purification of the Virgin Mary) - commemorates the presentation of Jesus in the Temple and purification of Mary on the 40th day after the birth of Jesus. Candles have been blessed on this day since the 11th century, and this was the original forecaster, “If Candlemas is fair and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year.”
Bank Holiday -- Liechtenstein
Candelaria Festival -- Puno, Peru (Virgen de la Candelaria, through the 16th)
Dia de la Candelaria/Virgin of Candelaria -- Mexico; Spain
La Fete de la Chandeleur -- Canada; France
Matka Boska Gromniczna (Mother of God of the Blessed Thunder Candle) -- Poland
Festival of Juno Februa -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Juno as goddess of motherly and matrimonial love)
Groundhog Day/Hedgehog Day/Badger Day -- what animal you looked to in order to predict the weather depended on where you lived
Hromnice -- Czech Republic (hrom = thunder, a weather forecasting day)
Imbolc/Sughnassad -- Pagan/Wiccan (Northern Hemisphere/Southern Hemisphere)
Brigmid -- Druid Calendar, also called Feast of Imbolc, celebrated later as St. Bridget's Day, but originally a festival for Brigid, (also known as Brighid, Bríde, Brigit, Brìd) goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft. It is always halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, so some years it is on Feb. 1 with St. Brigid's Day
Disting/Charming of the Plough -- Asatru/Slavic Pagan (a feast of new beginnings and spring)
Serpent Day -- Celtic (The tradition was that on this day, the Brigmid, snakes or badgers would come out of their winter dens and predict the weather; perhaps a precursor to North America's Groundhog Day.)
Wives' Feast Day -- Northern England (ancient celebration in association with Imbolc)
Inventors' Day -- Thailand
Le Jour des Crepes -- France (Crepes Day, as crepes are traditionally served on Candlemas; if you can flip the crepe pan and catch the crepe in it with your right hand, while holding a gold coin in your left, you will become rich this year!)
National Heavenly Hash Day
Presentation of Christ in the Temple -- Anglican Catholic Christian
Sled Dog Day -- anniversary of the arrival, in 1925, of diphtheria antitoxin in Nome, Alaska; in memory of the sled dogs, especially lead dogs Togo and Balto, who made it possible
St. Cornelius the Centurion's Day (the Cornelius converted by St. Paul in the Book of Acts)
Traditional Day of Offering -- Bhutan (first day of 12th month of Tibetan calendar)
Veja Diena -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (day of wind, with rituals performed to assure no wind damage next summer)
Wand Dedication Day -- Fairy Calendar
World Wetlands Day -- UN
Marina Ogilvy (daughter of Princess Alexandra) weds Paull Mowatt, 1990
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) marries Olivia Langdon in Elmira, NY, 1870
Michael T. Weiss, 1962
Christie Brinkley, 1954
Ina Garten, 1948
Farah Fawcett, 1947
Graham Nash, 1942
David Jason, 1940
Tom Smothers, 1937
Les Dawson, 1934
Stan Getz, 1927
Elaine Stritch, 1925
James Dickey, 1923
Liz Smith, 1923
Ayn Rand, 1905
George “Papa Bear” Halas, 1895
William Rose Benét, 1886
James Joyce, 1882
Solomom R. Guggenheim,1861
Toyotomi Hideyoshi,1536 (Japan's second "great unifier")
"The Rich Little Show"(TV), 1975
"The Midnight Special"(TV), 1973
"And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little"(Play), 1971
"What's My Line?"(TV), 1950
"Le Dame aux Camelias"(Play, Dumas, fils), 1848
"Artaxerxes"(Opera, Thomas Arnes), 1762
Today in History:
Alaric II, eighth king of the Visigoths promulgates The Breviary of Alaric (Breviarium Alaricianum or Lex Romana Visigothorum) a collection of Roman law, 506
Pedro de Mendoza founds Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1536
New Amsterdam (later New York) is incorporated as a city, 1653
The first leopard is exhibited in the US, in Boston (admission 25 cents), 1802
Russian settlers establish the Ft. Ross trading post north of San Francisco, 1811
Jonathan Martin sets York Cathedral afire, does £60,000 damage, 1829
The first Chinese workers arrive in San Francisco, 1848
The first public men's toilet in Britain opens, on Fleet Street in London, 1852
Samuel Clemens uses the pen name Mark Twain for the first time, 1863
James Oliver invents the removable tempered steel plow blade, 1869
The SS Strathleven arrives in London with the first frozen mutton imported from Australia, 1880
The Knights of Columbus forms in New Haven, Connecticut, 1882
The first official Groundhog Day is observed in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, 1887
The bottle cap with cork seal is patented by William Painter of Baltimore, 1892
The longest boxing match under modern rules takes place in Nameoki, Illinois; 77 rounds between Harry Sharpe and Frank Crosby, 1892
The first movie close-up, of a man sneezing, is made at the Edison Studio in West Orange, NJ, 1893
The Australian Premiers' Conference held in Melbourne decides to locate Australia's capital, Canberra, between Sydney and Melbourne, 1899
Queen Victoria's funeral takes place, 1901
Musher Gunner Kaasan and his sled team, led by Balto, finish the serum run from Nenana to Nome, Alaska, delivering the much needed diphtheria medication (inspiration for the Iditarod), 1925
Leonarde Keeler tests the first polygraph machine, 1935
The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States and south-eastern Canada, 1976
F.W. de Klerk allows the African National Congress to function legally and promises to release Nelson Mandela, 1990
Iran launches its first domestically made satellite, Omid, into orbit, 2009
All 955 miners are rescued from the Beatrix gold mine in Welkom town, South Africa, after 2 days underground, 2018
More than 40 mummies from around 323-30 BC are found at a burial site at the Tuna el-Gebel archaeological site south of Cairo, Egypt, 2019
Palindrome Day: today's date, 02/02/2020, reads the same forward and backward, whether you are putting the order as month/day or day/month; the last time this happened was 11/11/1111, 2020