Isolation of COVID, brutal weather relieved by special February greetings
Valentine’s weekend 2021 was a memorable one in the Pelican Rapids area, especially for senior citizens and others staying close to home—especially during the COVID pandemic.
Thank yous and tears of joy were reported, from Pelican Valley Senior Living residents, Meals on Wheels recipients and others—following special Valentine deliveries.
“Brown Eyed Susans” and owner Jessica Shulstad coordinated delivery of balloons, flowers and cards to 107 individuals or households—including a few Hospice Care residents. Pelican Valley residents totalled 62; and about 45 were delivered from the Pelican Senior Citizen Center.
Meanwhile, Pelican Rapids high school students shared posters, messages and flowers from the “Petals From the Heart” shop in Pelican.
The Pelican Rapids High School SADD chapter coordinated the “Giving Hearts Day” event, giving Pelican Valley residents flowers, special note and hand made hearts for window display.
“Show Our Love” was the campaign centered at Brown Eyed Susans. “This project started because we are a friendly, small town florist who kept getting calls from people to have flowers and plants delivered to their loved ones that they were unable to visit…It started as just Valentine’s day cards and it quickly snowballed” said Shulstad. Hundreds of Valentine cards were created by fifth grade students and kids at the Barnesville Day Care
Donations came from throughout the area, and an unnamed donor extended the Valentine cheer to staff at Pelican Valley—including floral arrangements at nursing stations and desks, and treats from an area baker for employees.
“The best response…was a humbling phone call from Louise Seim, who came in shortly after the Meals on Wheels deliveries went out,” noted Shulstad. “She was sobbing…sharing her gratitude towards the project…. Small acts, have a ripple effect, especially in a small community.”
Another recipient wrote in a card “I can’t remember when I’ve ever received such wonderful treats on Valentine’s Day.”
With the pandemic shutting people in—and shutting people out– “Project Show Our Love” and the Pelican SADD’s “Giving Hearts” campaign brought cheer to dozens of Pelican area residents.
Not only did the gestures offer a glimpse of hope at the end of the tunnel for COVID-19—but the deliveries sparked thoughts of spring, coming in the middle of the coldest period of the winter—with temperatures falling to nearly 30 degrees below over the weekend.
“We are all so very appreciative and they touched all of our hearts more than they know or even imagine,” noted Pelican Valley director of nursing, Megan Mayer. “These residents have endured and gone through so much with the pandemic…I look back through the past, almost one year, and the battles…to keep the residents and all the staff safe, it brings so many emotions and tears! These residents deserve to be recognized and our community really came through to show them that they are not alone and are thought about by everyone outside of the our walls! It is just so great to know all of the support we have standing by us.”
Only in Minnesota Ice fishing shanty transformed into ‘floral shop’
You might be from Pelican Rapids, Minnesota if you bought your Valentine flowers from a fish house turned floral shop.
It was an unusual “re-purposing” of a fixture intended for frozen waters.
“I’ve been tempted to pull up one of the (fish house floor) doors, so it feels more normal!” laughed Phil Johnson, as he worked the counter, distributing Valentine bouquets from a fish house.
This creative idea was born of the need for social distancing and an efficient pickup service. Located in the alley behind Petals floral shop, the Ice Castle fish house was transformed into a retail storefront, iof sorts. This unique drive-thru floral lane was even complete with menus to select from.
Sales at the drive through were steady. Comments heard throughout the three-day period included, “what a great idea,” “ingenious,” “neat idea,” “this is awesome,” “I love it.”
With one of the coldest Valentine weekends on record, customers enjoyed the benefit of completing the transaction from the comfort of a warm vehicle. Staff ensured that all arrangements were adequately wrapped to protect from freezing.
The ice fishing shanty was courtesy Dylan Schleske. It came off the lake a few days prior—and by the time you read this, it was back to its orignal purpose—parked at a hot fishing spot on a frozen area lake.