A well-known love sonnet begins, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” The poet then goes on to express the height, and depth and breadth, molecular density and kilograms of her love. I may have made those last few up, but you get the idea.
Her love is eternal and exists everywhere.
In times of global pandemic and quarantine, love is expressed in material goods that are in high demand and short supply.
We were down to six coffee filters when the shutdown began. I looked in store after store and online to no avail. I mentioned we were down to three coffee filters, and not looking forward to a new routine of chronic headaches, when a neighbor offered us some of hers.
How do I love thee? Let me count our new supply of coffee filters.
A friend could not find whole wheat flour anywhere. On the rare occasions when she bakes cookies, she uses whole wheat flour. She didn’t want cookies at that moment, but if we were locked down for ages and ages, she’d want cookies eventually.
She pulled into our driveway late one night after checking on her mother-in-law. Wearing a mask, gloves and having double sealed the whole wheat flour that had been in my freezer, I set the package on the driveway and quickly backed away. She sprang from her vehicle, swooped up the package and shot back into her car.
It was like a clandestine money drop in an action thriller movie.
How do I love thee? Handing off whole wheat flour at 9:30 at night.
Our daughter-in-law, and most of the nation, was not able to find yeast. It is still difficult to find. The world goes into quarantine and immediately starts baking bread. Yeast was at the top of her “Most Wanted” list. I had purchased a large jar of yeast shortly before the COVID-19 outbreak. I kept a few tablespoons for myself and gave her the bottle for Mother’s Day.
It took a global quarantine and interrupted supply chains, but I’m finally finding just the right gifts for special occasions.
Our daughter put out an all-points bulletin for a specific spray bathroom disinfectant cleaner that she has always used and cannot be found anywhere. She texted a picture of the bottle to family members so we can all look for it whenever we are out.
Her birthday is next week. I don’t want to give away any shopping secrets, but it pays to bend down and check bottom shelves that look empty. Let’s just say she’s going to love her birthday gift.
Years from now she can tell the story about how her mother loved her so much that she gave her disinfecting bathroom cleaner for her birthday.
How do I love thee? Let me count the sprays.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.