My daughter and I drove to the grocery store today.  That’s our normal weekly outing now, and we try to make the most of it.

Just inside the front doors, the flower section greets customers with a kaleidoscope of bright colors, textures and tones massed together to make an impactful statement.  I never fail to appreciate their vibrance.  As a matter of fact, I kind of consider a small purchase of flowers, every other week or so, to be a necessity in the winter months.

Today the two of us lingered for a few minutes, determined to find a small gift for friends of ours.  After some quick discussion on the cheerfulness factor—and longevity—of several options, we chose a small potted garden of spring bulbs. 

Our friends’ children have insisted that the two of them stay at home for this pandemic.  Since March, they have essentially not left their home for anything, even grocery shopping.  My friends jokingly call their son “the warden” because he has been very thorough in his efforts.  But they do agree with his rationale:  given their age, they are in the higher risk population for this virus. Fortunately, they live just outside of town, on a nice property with a small pond and many trails.  They are “out” in that sense. But their social interactions have been cut back dramatically.

For my daughter and I, it’s become rather a monthly tradition for us to find some reason to drop by.  We still believe that we can chat for a few minutes if they stand in their doorway and we stay in our car. 

I’ve mentioned this relationship before, in a couple of different ways, as our friendship endures and grows during these past months.

This afternoon, I’m realizing they win the silver lining award yet again.  They are giving my daughter and I the gift of learning to show our appreciation for their being in our lives… something that I fear we might have taken a bit too much for granted if it were not for these strange circumstance of quarantines and lockdowns.