The Postscript: Gladiolas are the main event

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, September 9, 2020

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Carrie Classon' postscript, the orange leader

The Postscript:
By Carrie Classon

Yesterday, I bought gladiolas. They are nearly three feet tall and bright fuchsia. It is safe to say they are the most exciting thing to appear at my desk in ages.

When I walked in the front door my husband, Peter, said, “Oh my gosh.”

Translated, that means: “You have gone overboard on the flowers.” But Peter is too nice to say that.

I always have flowers on my desk. I used to feel guilty, spending good money on flowers every week. It seemed to me it was a little frivolous, an unnecessary expense like buying a coffee I could make at home or buying a book I could get at the library. Except, I can’t make flowers or check them out from anywhere. I sit at my desk all day and, almost all day, I am looking at my flowers.

My love for flowers probably comes from my mother. My mother is good about bringing flowers into the house although, being my mother, she always goes with the minimalist approach. Her flowers are tiny, and they are in a tiny vase. The whole thing is lovely in miniature, a sort of bonsai bouquet. I admire what my mother does. But I am not like that.

When the pandemic started, it was hard to get flowers. The floral section of the grocery store was closed. But then the bushes and flowering trees started to bloom and I poached branches from the neighbors (usually with their permission) and put those on my desk. They shed something terrible and most of the flowers were dead the next morning. But the next day I would go foraging again.

Later, my roses started to bloom and that was nice. But now my roses have taken a sabbatical and so yesterday I went to the grocery store to buy more flowers.

I figured I’d end up with alstroemeria. They are always cheap because, amazingly, they can be shipped flat as a pancake and they bounce back into shape. It’s miraculous. Then they last for at least two weeks—three weeks if they are very fresh. Restaurants love them for this reason. I think they are pretty, and I can get them year-round.

But then I saw the gladiolas.

Once a year, the gladiolas come into the store. They are huge and weird-looking and absolutely splendid. I should note, I have a small desk. One bunch of gladiolas fills all the available space at my desk, towers high above it, and forms a canopy over my coffee cup. Gladiolas are not a decoration on my desk; they are the main event.

So now I am writing under the looming spikes of the gladiolas and feeling more than usually happy. The best part about gladiolas is that they are only four dollars a bunch. I can assure you that gladiolas provide far more than four dollars’ worth of happiness.

Being at home so much these days has made me realize that I own a lot of things I do not need. Like everyone I know, I’ve been cleaning out closets and cupboards and finding lots of things that have no reason to be in my house or my life.

But this time has also made me appreciate the things that make me smile every day: a good cup of coffee, clean sheets, an uncluttered desk, and flowers—always flowers. Having flowers on my desk makes me feel special, as if every day is a little celebration.

And flowers do not lie. Because the truth is, even the most ordinary day is worth celebrating.

Till next time,


Carrie Classon’s memoir is called, “Blue Yarn.” Learn more at