I haven't stopped delivering flowers and fruit baskets since the week after New Year's Day. Got me a "flower delivery gig".
At least for now!
So far I've delivered centerpieces, little fruit baskets, tall vases of flowers, huge pot plants, wicker baskets of wine and cheese, crates of bananas, oranges, and grapes, huge bags of dog food (new item), little bags of dog treats, funeral wreaths, wedding bouquets, and any kind of floral arrangement you can imagine.
I do this Monday through Friday (and sometimes Saturday if they need me) from 1pm until I finish up anywhere from 5pm to 7pm-ish. I drive my own truck, sans dog co-pilot. She only comes along if I am close to home and doing residential deliveries. No risk involved and the weather has to be right as well for her to ride along with me.
Just when I think I know a local area I find out something new. Just the other day I found a restored 1800s school house in an area about 10 miles from where I've lived since 1994. I just never had any reason to find this and now I am enchanted and want to scoot there in the spring and learn more about this.
I've entered churches and funeral homes and admired the elaborate architecture and stained glass designs and seen these elaborate Victorian bannisters and parlors that are absolutely beautiful. I've left flowers in the nave, in the flower room, and dashed out hoping not to see the "dearly beloved" laid out in the foyer!
I've seen all kinds of people on my route. Some stare out the window and won't come to the door. Most come to the door and make some kind of joke or quip about the order, "Oh, wow, that is huge!" or "Who the hell sent that?!".
Kids, dads, mom, older people who teeter to the door, eyes at the window who refuse to open it, a woman in a wheelchair, a man in a bathrobe who ran out in zero weather to give me a tip at the truck window.
I see a lot of dogs, many who run out to "sniff me over". My favorite so far was a Labro-doodle named Sandy. I decided with Sandy that I might want to bring one of her kin into my home when I move to a house. So sweet, so smart!
I've seen some weird things. The lady who came to the door and asked me to please bring the fruit basket in (it was on her porch and I was walking away toward my truck, thinking no one was home) as she "had no pants on". She didn't! But I got the basket to her and tried not to look!
Some places are sort of creepy. One house looked like it was from the set of The Addams Family, complete with a fountain spewing brown water, a creepy gremlin statue, vines growing all over, and a skull door knocker.
I knocked and left that one as quickly as I heard what I thought was a growling noise!
I've seen how the "rich" live too. I mean the "really rich". Estates way back off into woodland areas with vistas of the Ohio River and valleys that would never even be imaginable. So many mansions. Many of these put the mansions of Newport and The Hamptons to shame. These are "new rich". Lots of toys and ostentation.
The "old rich" also exist in a wooded east side area of the county. Most are modest little estates or bungalows, nestled back in a wooded glade or down a country lane. Some have gates, most don't. These could be houses from out where I lived in the poorest county in Ohio except the land values and property values here are long-term high and it is all couched in a "historical ambiance" of the 19th century, early pioneer mystique.
These are the families that founded the city and they go back a long, long way. No pretense here. Being rich has been a way of life so long they don't know they are rich so they act like the rest of us. I've gotten some good tips here when some one is home.
Most of the time you never see a soul in these wealthy areas. No one out in the yard doing anything except landscapers, gardeners, or other delivery vans. Most of the time no one comes to the door. It's silent and still and you wonder if it is all a movie set as it is so surreal. Beautiful, but cold in a way. And I don't mean temperature-wise.
I have gotten a few tips too. Not many, but a few. Usually the lower income neighborhoods. Guess those folks know what it is to work for a tip. I don't expect them. I treat everyone the same. A smile, a greeting about "your beautiful flowers, wonderful fruit basket, gorgeous plant" from "so and so". And I end it with "Enjoy!" or "Merry Christmas!" if that is appropriate.
I love this work. I have lost all my physical and mental stress and I now feel strong and energetic. I don't need Planet Fitness because I've got "Planet Flower" making me strong and happy and fit.
The feel of the sunlight is changing, there's a feel of spring in the cool air. What better place to be than out on the roads "flower giggin'" when spring unfolds? I can't imagine a better job.
At least for now!