In a typical year, Michael and Corrie Large would spend Mother's Day like millions of others.
"We'd do brunch early with my family and then spend the rest of the day by the pool with the Martins," Michael Large said. "This isn't a normal year."
To say that his in-laws and their families are touchy-feely would be understating things. His mother-in-law, Charlene, is part of the Jabaley family, who are also huggers, Michael Large said.
"Corrie's uncle kisses me on the lips," he said, "which is uncomfortable, but now, not only do we have this thing, they were affected by the tornado."
This year, because of shelter-at-home and social distancing guidelines, Michael and Corrie likely will spend their first Mother's Day on Sunday as parents at their own home with 6-month-old James IV, and call their own mothers, Stephanie Large and Charlene Martin, to wish them a happy Mother's Day.
Mother's Day is a big day for restaurants, florists and jewelers. In fact, it's the No. 1 day for sales when it comes to dining out and buying flowers. Nearly 80 million adults dine out on Mother's Day in a typical year, and the National Retail Federation predicts that even with the pandemic more than $26 billion will be spent this year.
Because of the pandemic and new rules limiting the number of eat-in diners, many Chattanooga area restaurants will be offering takeout and curbside pickup options, in addition to limited dine-in options at some locations. See the list at https://bit.ly/2YNtW8r.
Main Street Meats, for example, is offering a meal to go that will feed a family of up to five, complete with starters such as creamy Vidalia onion soup and entrees including whole roasted filet mignon and smoked pork tenderloin. You can also get flowers for mom from The Clay Pot with any curbside or online order.
"The orders have been good," said owner Erik Niel. "We are basing it on what we learned from Easter, where we get our menu out via social media about a week to 10 days out."
Niel said he has not reopened Main Street Meats because the numbers don't work.
"We are a 40-seat restaurant," he said. "You can't make that work with 50% capacity. Right now, we're just trying to make lemons out of lemonade."
Jenny and Stewart Fogo also will be sheltering in place along with 3-month-old Weldon for their first Mother's Day as parents. Both her parents and in-laws are out of town helping siblings manage their larger families, so this year was going to be different without the pandemic. Jenny Fogo said she is OK with whatever they do on Sunday, as long as the three of them are together.
"On Mother's Day typically we would probably be at my parents or his or maybe even both, so this will be different for sure," she said. "But my ideal Mother's Day might be with Stewart and Weldon anyway."
Still, she said, it'd be nice to to be able to have a large family gathering, since many of her relatives haven't met Weldon yet.
"It was flu season right after he was born, so we've kind of become professional quarantiners," she said. "We're pretty good at it."
The Fogos plan to swing by Public House and pick up the breakfast and dinner to-go special they are offering. For $95 on Sunday, you get a snack, a breakfast, two dinner entrees, two sides and a dessert, and you can add cocktails and flowers for an extra charge.
"We will make the most of it this year, but it will be nice to be with family next year," Jenny Fogo said.
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.