Flower Delivery for Mr. Schwanke- from Holland America

Flowers for me from Holland America?? The Experience!

3 Holland America Flower Arrangements- setting in the flower room!

3 Holland America Flower Arrangements- setting in the flower room!

I grew up in a flower family business. I was literally – sleeping in flower boxes under the tables in the flower shop. I worked – as soon as I was old enough- being a runner on the delivery truck- I would ride along with the delivery man- and take the flowers up to the door. I learned early on- to smile- introduce myself- and read the name on the card- thank then- and make sure the flowers arrive safely- this job led to my second job- as delivery man for the flower shop- I did that for years… and it was one of my favorite jobs- because you actually get to see the joy- that flower provide.

One thing that eluded me- was the feeling you get when the flower delivery person comes to your door- because I was that guy- and when you have a flower shop- people don’t send you flowers- don’t know why- but it’s true… or when they do- you have to make it yourself and then you take it home- but rarely does the delivery van pull up outside your house- and walk flowers to your door… when you own a flower shop.

Fast forward- to today… I’m sheltering at home- I’m putting my breakfast dishes in the dishwasher- looking out the window of my house- to see what’s going on- and the FedEx truck pulls up to the end of the driveway… I’ve not ordered anything- and what could this be… did Kelly order something- is it something for the dogs.. or ???? The driver opens the side door and steps out with a 1/4 box of Flowers- I see the Holland America Logo on the side of the box…

Flower delivery for Mr. Schwanke- from Holland America Flowers

Flower delivery for Mr. Schwanke- from Holland America Flowers

And for the first time- in a very very long time- I got that “feeling”- that “Flower Feeling” – the same one you might get- when you see flowers coming up the walk to your door… I run to the garage and open the door- he waves- and places them on the driveway- I thank him for delivering- and he thanks me for the business… Nice touch!

I put on my gloves- and grab a cutters and open the box- right there…It’s Cloudy today in Michigan- and about 54˚F… I’m so excited… truly. Again- I have to say that when I get flowers- I almost always know they are coming- because it’s for a project, production, filming or something- but this… “feeling” of getting flowers- now I’m crying- because it’s that close these days… I can cry at a drop of a hat… so this is normal… but still- So Excited- Happy Tears… Flowers for ME???

I open the box- and inside are 4 Bunches of Tulips- Red, Orange, Pink and Purple… a bunch of Salal- (Really NICE TOUCH- sending foliage for the flowers… ) a bunch of Stargazer Lilies- and on top a Bunch of Yellow Freesia! Now many of you may know- YELLOW Freesia are my all time favorite flower… My grandpa would grow them in the greenhouse- in big wooden flats- and when they would bloom- they would be warm in the greenhouse and the whole greenhouse would smell like Freesia- I often say- the smell like Froot Loops… and I would literally pick a bloom and stick it in my nose so I could smell it all the time… and I have been known to carry around flowers- like Tuberose, Gardenia and Freesia- and just smell them… all day long… it’s my thing…

Let’s be honest- that really turned on the water works- because- that’s my favorite flower- and of course my friends Benno, Nicolette and Ben- know that I love their Freesia and Yellow is my favorite- and OF COURSE THEY INCLUDED THAT in the BOX… because they are that thoughtful, kind and special… Dutch Roots in American Soil…

Yellow Freesia- great contrast to the grey Michigan day outside!

Yellow Freesia- great contrast to the grey Michigan day outside!

So- I have these bunches of flowers- and I burst back through the door- with Kel and the dogs inside at the dining room table- and I’m all – “LOOOOOOK what came from Holland America- and there’s Freesia”… Kel comes over to smell the freesia- and he says- “are you crying” and I say “Of course… and I head to the flower room… flowers in hand!

The reason I’m writing this blog- is I truly believe- we are on “RESET” – I think it was time for all of us to take a break- and reset our lives, our priorities and our positivity- Everything was going to fast- we were losing track- we were becoming negative and we needed to be RESET- just like a phone or computer- RESET!

I am finding myself- relishing every moment- taking a little more time everyday to watch the plants push through the dirt in the garden- to watch the sunlight glimmer off of Ladybird’s fur when I pet her… taking the time to meditate for 20 minutes or 30 instead of 3 or 5… – reading a recipe- measuring- waiting for bread to rise… that type of thing… that we were missing- we were putting aside- we were rushing… suddenly we have the time…

This Wonderful Gift- allowed me to feel the sensation of Flower Delivery- to look inside a box with Wonder- to think of my friends- and enjoy the moment… and I’m not done!

Stargazer lily - with Pollen showing- this pollen has to go...

Stargazer lily – with Pollen showing- this pollen has to go…

So went into the flower room- when we remodeled for the TV Show- we took the old laundry room- that we moved right next to the bedroom- (GREAT IDEA) and converted it into a flower room- with a counter and sink and flower supplies- and good lighting and music – so I could arrange flowers- like I was just about to do…

I turned on the lights- I set the music- and I took the time to select some favorite vases- ones that provide plenty of water- and space for the flowers to open… I always clean my vases after each use- so they simply needed a bit of the dust- (Yep- Dust- got it!) wiped off- and I filled them with COLD Water from the tap- and measured- my BULB FOOD Flower Nutrient- (because Tulips, Lilies and Freesia are all bulb flowers) accurately into the vases! Then I began the process…

Here’s what we talk about all the time- (and what we tell our audiences, customers- clients- etc…)- Enjoying this process… and Today- I took the time- to look at each stem- clean off any damaged foliage- (there wasn’t much- but better to be sure)… and began the arranging process- to nice music on the radio- (I listen to Lounge.fm out of Austria- it’s a great satellite radio I get from Tune-in) … and arranged the flowers- cutting each stem with my by-pass cutters- I’ve graduated to the by-pass from the locking blade knife- because it’s what most consumers use- it makes me appreciate the process more…and I don’t cut myself as often… just sayin’ …

I also followed the trick I’ve told to so many for so many years- I used a tall cylinder vase for a bunch of Tulips, Lilies and the bunch of Yellow Freesia- Many years ago- my friend Curtis Godwin- told me  “Never cut Freesia- they have the strongest vascular system of any flower- you simply put them into the vase- without cutting- and then all the buds will open all the way to the end”… I doubted Curtis at first- and would still cut my Freesia- and the Open buds would promptly die- and they never opened to the end… so one day I decided to TRY IT – his way… and sure enough- it’s based in Science- when you cut Freesia- there is a surge of ethylene – that rushes up the stem- and kills that first bloom- but if you don’t cut- even when it’s calloused – like it was today- you don’t lose that first bloom and all the other blooms- including the buds open up…

Pollen picked- and ready to open...

Pollen picked- and ready to open…

Suffice to say- I cut and arranged- (except for the Freesia) all the flowers- into three vases- with the Salal Leaves- that came along- I love the bigger green glossy leaves- with these flowers- they look great! I had a few stems of Salal left- and put them into a small vase- as I have some Helebores and Daffodils- that are looking to open this week- I’ll see who wins the “RACE” and put a few of those in that vase too!

Here’s the thing- as I was arranging- I took the time to notice- that I was feeling more relaxed! I was having happier thoughts- deciding what flowers would look best together- thinking of the fun times I’ve spent with Benno, Nicolette and Ben- the laughs we had- the times I visited the farm- and how they grew these flowers- with their own hands- and harvested them- and packaged them and packed them in a box- and they picked them out for me- and they sent them on their way…

My little Salal vase waiting for Daffodils or Hellebores...stay tuned!

My little Salal vase waiting for Daffodils or Hellebores…stay tuned!

I thought about how grey it was outside the window- and how there WILL Be flowers- but not yet- and yet- I have flowers now for my table and throughout the house… I can’t wait to see how the tulips open- and watch the colors advance- and how I needed to pull the pollen out of the lilies that were starting to crack open- and that make me think of my Grandpa Carnation Joe- that invented a little gizmo to grab the lily pollen- and how I should dig that out- and use it – because it would be fun- and it would make me think of him- and the fun we used to have… and how special life is- and how wonderful friends are- and how I suddenly didn’t have a stress headache- and the world seemed lighter- and I wasn’t so afraid- and I was happier and less depressed…

The Flowers were working- doing what we have known for so many years… and I was experiencing it… first hand- the Magic- the Feelings- the Power of the Flowers!

Thank you Benno- Nicolette- Ben- and all my friends at that Amazing Flower Farm in California- you made my day- you made it better… you made a difference- Just like all of us do- when we Send Flowers!