TulipsLast night, a friend and I went to Fat Olive’s for a quick salad before we headed up the hill to the movie theater for a fund-raiser put on by our employer. Seating was limited — it was the bar or the backroom–because Olive’s was crowded, which is unusual for a winter Thursday evening in Homer. The hostess reminded us that it was Valentine’s Day, and though I was completely aware of that earlier in the day, by 6:00 p.m. the annual celebration of red hearts and flowers and chocolate was pretty much wrapped up as far as I was concerned.

We couldn’t linger, so the bar suited us single girls just fine. The only drawback was that we couldn’t really check out who was there. As we were coming in, I did see a couple I know through my kids. He’s a real-deal cowboy, and they go Outside fairly often for him to participate in cattle drives and roundups. Last night, instead of a bandanna around his neck, he had a bright red scarf that looked like a blend of wool and silk. Cool as all get out.  On the way out I noticed a young couple holding hands and eating spaghetti and meat balls at the same time.

The fund-raiser included an auction for gift certificates, all donated by local restaurants and massage therapists (which gave the auctioneer opportunities to spice his banter with innuendos of romance and more). There were Valentine theme desserts for sale, too. Bags of cookies in clear plastic gift bags decorated with hearts. Cupcakes with hearts on top. Chocolate brownies. Peanut butter pie. Apple streusel.  Volunteers had gone overboard with baking for the event, and there was quite a bit unsold when we left the theater a few minutes before the film ended. I would say that a lot of folks will be enjoying Valentine’s Day sweets for several days longer.

There will be good deals on leftover candy and cards at the stores, too, where seasonal stock always exceeds demand. Safeway could not possibly have sold all their pimped up Valentine bouquets and potted plants. I wonder if they sold any of them? Yesterday morning when I shopped for my weekend’s supply of fresh produce, I noticed a bunch of guys buying basic bouquets of roses or other mixed flowers, but no one carrying out a pot of ivy with plastic hearts sticking out of it. There were a lot of heart-shaped balloons too, so maybe the practical romantics will celebrate Valentine’s Day today to take advantage of the sale prices while the flowers are still fresh and the balloons inflated.

As for me, I’m enjoying my indulgence in a bunch of Safeway tulips, actually a regular item starting right after Christmas. These are warm, energetic red–not that ponderous shade that turns maroon after a few days, like roses. I’m enjoying them this morning after my first Valentine’s Day in Homer, AK.  They’ll last more than a week if I keep trimming the end of the stems, and there’s nothing more to enjoy about them than that scrumptious color. That is plenty enough for me.

Copyright 2013-2014 Genie Hambrick