Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Every time I leave my apartment and see these tulips, they brighten my day immeasurably. I always point them out to Jeff, and insist that he express adequate appreciation of their glory before we continue on our way. (Usually it goes like this: "Jeff, aren't those the most beautiful flowers ever?!?" *silence* "Jeffffffff!" "Yes, they're fine.)

bernie dexter grace dress tudor rose

Until a few years ago, I wasn't much of a flower person. I mean, I thought they were nice and all, but I couldn't really understand what the fuss was all about. Tulips were the only exception: I've loved them since I was a child.

What made tulips the only exception to my longstanding take-it-or-leave-it approach to flowers? Well, as always with me, there's a story here.

My adopted great grandparents, who lived in the house across the street from my parents for almost 60 years, had tulips next to their driveway. Every year when the tulips bloomed, Pop-Pop would come get me and show them to me. They were red and yellow and absolutely wonderful.

red and yellow tulips
Michigan Avenue knows what's good!

Unlike the basil that Pop-Pop planted each year, or the cucumbers he'd train to grow on the frame he had in the backyard, the tulips came back every spring, just like clockwork. The idea of a bulb that waited patiently all winter in the frozen ground, only to burst into colorful bloom when spring arrived, seemed like magic to me. I'd see them standing proud next to the driveway as I got off the school bus, and I'd know the end of the school year was approaching fast.

When I see tulips now, I think of Pop-Pop and Mom-Mom: of countless afternoons having Oreos and ginger ale at their table, of Pop-Pop coming with me when I got stitches in my chin on the first day of first grade, of the sound of Mom-Mom's voice, or Pop-Pop asking 'taking me witcha?' every time we got in the car to go anywhere. Tulips look a lot like love to me.

Are you a flower fan? What's your favorite kind?

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  1. What a cute story about how your love of tulips started! I also only recently came to have a real appreciation for flowers, and I also really love tulips! They're so bright and cheerful. I love seeing them out now! I can't wait to have a house and plant flowers there.

    1. Thank you, Bristol! And I totally agree -- all the colorful tulips I see around Chicago brighten my day every time I catch a glimpse of them! How's the house hunting going?

  2. I appreciate flowers, for sure - but I'd rather not have them given to me. Their life is cut short and seeing that I have a black know :p

    These are great shots!!!

    1. I'm the exact same way about getting cut flowers! The other problem for me is that I hate to throw them away even after they're long I end up with dead flowers and then get sad when I finally toss them.

      Thank you! Have you been doing much photography lately?

  3. I love the story behind this and that you have something to smile at everyday. i also love that tulips look stunning when it rains and when its sunny! I love lillies the most :) x
    Lola Mia //

    1. Aw, thank you so much! Chicago is such a beautiful city and it's especially lovely when the flowers are all in bloom. And lilies are such a beautiful flower, too! My wedding bouquet was entirely calla lilies.

  4. Love this story. These memories are so precious. Hibiscus are my favorite flower for a kind of similiar reason. We used to have some growing in your front yard when I was a kid. Lots of good memories of that time <3