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My Blog

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Good morning once again.  Today our town is proudly showing off it's Windy City title.  Wow...the wind is really whipping around outside.  Although, our fair city got that title because of the wind, but in actuality, it was given because of politician's ability to keep talking.
Today's blog is Tulips.  I really am waiting to see some signs of spring and I associate it with tulips.  The other day I was working with some Alzheimer patients and we were discussing spring flowers.  Tulips, Lilacs and Lily of the Valley were the one most discussed.  We spoke of festivals connected with them . I remember my first time going to a tulip festival.  My Aunt and Uncle took me out of school to attend the festival held each year in Holland Michigan.  I remember how unusual it was to see a parade where they actually come out and scrub the streets.  That was followed by a bevy of dancer in wooden shows and brightly colored costumes.  Once the parade was finished, it was time for the actual viewing of tulips to begin.  I was amazed by the sights that we saw.  I remember climbing this huge ladder that was in a park of sorts.  When you reached the top, you were able to see that the bed of tulips below were planted and blooming in the shape of a windmill.  I remember going to see how the wooden shoes were carved and also seeing a miniature town of Holland at one of the sites.  I loved it.  It was such an experience, that as I grew up and had 2 daughters of my own, I began the same tradition.  I loved going there and showing them the sites and all those beautiful flowers. 
Now enjoying the flowers and actually knowing about them and truly enjoying them came perhaps 40 plus years later. 
A few of my girlfriends and I took a trip to Holland Michigan.  We planned on a 2 day stay, which I highly recommend.  It is funny how much more you appreciate what you are seeing when you are older.  As a child, the tulips were great to see, Such an experience, but as an older woman, I truly took in every flower and difference there was to be seen.  I marveled at the differences in the colors and the styles of tulips.  Prior to that experience, I only looked at them a a flower...now I saw them as pieces and works of art.  I marveled at the fields of colors and each individual plant.  I sat down in the fields to take panoramic pictures along with close ups of those amazing pieces of art.  It seems as though each field captivated my attention and drew me in as though it had a spell upon me.  I thought about the story of the old lady who found a fairy in her garden with her baby in the tulips being rocked to sleep as it gently swayed in the wind.  I appreciated visiting the attractions where you could buy pieces of delft, listen to the old organ and get up and dance right along with the wooden shoe clad dancers.  The ladies and I had a marvelous time there. We climbed inside a windmill for an actual tour of the mill.  Oh, how I now would love to return to see those amazing little blooms.  this time with pencil and sketching book in hand.  I would love to capture the colors and shapes and place them in a painting. 
It is amazing what experience you get as a child grows into an adventure as an adult.  How very different your viewpoint is and yet I am so grateful to my Aunt and Uncle for taking me there and beginning that journey for me.  We might think that when we take our children places that it doesn't make an impact.  Well, this impacted me greatly.  
I remember as a young girl, my Uncle was quite the carpenter and built my Aunt a windmill for her garden and cut outs of the dutch boy and girl kissing to place in the garden in front of the windmill.  That picture will remain in my mind's eye forever. 
I am sorry that they are both gone now.  I don't think I ever had the opportunity to truly thank them for those memories that they gave me with a 3 hour drive to a place of splendor.   There is still time before this year's festival...put it on your calendar. 

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