Au printemps

Not everything at this time of year is about the blitheness of springtime. Though by contrast to that withering overture, I had an effervescent moment this afternoon at Walmart. I cleaned out their entire stock of synthetic long-stem roses both red and white. They’re for my precious Lalique vase. While waiting at the checkout counter I privately mused whether this bit of retail might qualify as springtime gardening. To be frank the quip is less than poetic.  I don’t recall ever having done anything approaching productivity in a garden. Unless perhaps when I planted those real red roses which the sun promptly detroyed because I foolishly put them against an unobstructed southwesterly wall. And I as perishingly overlooked the business of watering.

Instead I now content myself with the perpetual vitality of synthetic creations. Many years ago I purposively bought the Lalique vase (from Robertston Galleries across from the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa) for a single long-stem rose which Jo Anne Trudeau had given me as a housewarming gift. She is an inexpressibly talented and delicate woman! After her lovely real rose expired, I have never since contaminated the vase with anything competitive or in the least nutritious.

Aside from what I’ve already said about these fake flowers, their acquisition is not however easy. Nor is it without educational directives. Retail in my limited experience in these large “box” stores is all about hit and miss. Unmistakably I have had some huge successes from Walmart, Giant Tiger and Target; but the triumph was all about the luck. One has to be prepared to venture and fail; repeatedly. Indeed today’s investigation was not the first I’ve conducted with similar intent in the past several years. Accordingly it represents enormous achievement today to have at last reined in the crusade. The old bunch of roses, though remarkably resistant, were starting to show their age.

The first Printemps store, now commonly known as “Printemps Haussmann”, was opened on 3 November 1865 under the name “Grands Magasins du Printemps” (abbreviated as “Au Printemps”) by Jules Jaluzot his wife Augustine Jaluzot and Jean-Alfred Duclos. The store was located on the corner of Rue du Havre and Boulevard Haussmann in Paris, France. In 1874 the store had a large expansion and elevators (some of the first) from the 1867 Universal Exposition were installed.

Back to the springtime theme. And how about  income tax.  April 30th, the day the trap door is set to be sprung, is now in sight. Early this morning we were greeted by a ream of electronic documents from our accountant. So compelled was I by this annual performance that instantly we attacked the communications; and signed where invited.

But the springtime cathartic flavour was not yet complete. Coincidentally I was booked for maintenance of my car at the dealership in Arnprior. I confess that I was less than enthused by the enterprise (which normally I’d consider frightfully important) because my interest now lies in a replacement automobile. I adore the performance of my current vehicle but I want something slightly different.

As I melted into the smooth leather lounge chair at the dealership and waited for the Service Advisor to call me, my dealer caught sight of me. She gave a warm “Hello!”  I asked to sit with her a moment.  It turns out that regarding the model about which I am so painfully in need, the manufacturer is preparing to take new orders within the next several weeks. It is a boring story of delays because of COVID-19 and all that that entails. But it consitutes for me a veritable springtime refreshment. This privilege of driving is not eternal. There may never be another springtime…just as well to plant the seeds and get on with it!