You know- the older I get, the more I am tending to appreciate some of the things in life that I kind of took for granted. Like tulips. My dad was an amazing gardener. He had his own greenhouse where he spent many winter nights planting seeds in flats. When the spring came around, he and I planted hundreds of flowers around his house and put together these amazing flower baskets that were fueled each summer with Miracle Grow, an amazing product that just made his flowers bloom in the most incredible way. We also planted tulip bulbs in the fall only to see them bloom in the spring and the very next day………GONE!!! My dad lived on the edge of North Park and tulips were like candy to the deer that populated his property. He was so angry that every one of his tulips only lasted a day.
Going back to last spring, Janet and I visited out son Jack up in Michigan, and we went to the Holland, Michigan Tulip Festival. It had quite the Dutch feel to it and I kind of liked the whole thing seeing that back in the day, I rode my road bike through the Netherlands. I liked the windmills and the miles and miles of tulips blooming. It was a cool festival and when we came to a booth selling tulip bulbs, Janet and I jumped at the chance to buy some. The vendors said it would be in the fall before they would be delivered because the bulbs come from the Netherlands. We waited patiently and lo and behold, last October, before the first frost, they came and we planted them in our front yard. I wondered if they would ever come up in the spring.
So fast forward, this spring,- like last week, the tulips bloomed in their full splendor! I immediately went to the hardware store and asked the guy( we all have the guy) , what keeps the deer away? He gave me these granulated pellets in a 1 gallon container and said that these would do the trick. So far so good.
You are probably wondering why a guy who writes a blog about outdoor sports and activities is spending this current post time on tulips? Well, several things come to mind. I never gave my dad’s flowers much thought other than seeing the finished product of his work which was impressive. But that only lasted seconds as I usually made my way in and out of the house and out on my bike. Sure- “nice work Dad” but really I had a lot better things to do. But I thought of him a lot when I saw these tulips bloom. I thought about how I needed to protect them and also how my dad would be looking down and satisfied that I am taking such great pleasure in one of nature’s great mysteries. I mean……………these tulips are really beautiful. I am really excited about how they came up after we hurried and planted them on a cold October day last fall. Wondering if we did it right? Looks like we did. And we watched a video on how to cut them back properly so we can enjoy another bloom next spring.
The point here is …………..yes, these things lure me out of my house each morning to take a look. But it also is showing me that I am starting to appreciate the little things in life that I ignored for so many years. The blossoms on the trees as I ride past them, daffodils and tulips blooming, the fragrance of the woods as I ride through, a sunny day, and many other things that make me appreciate each day I live. Janet said to me the other day, ” well the weekend is coming” but I responded that I am learning to appreciate each day and what that day can bring. I am a relentless planner, but each day is a gift and we should not look forward to making them go away too fast. The days and the years are coming and going at record speed and I really feel the need to maximize each day and take a good look at God’s great creation. Even if it is in my little garden in the front of my house. Thanks for indulging me and my tulips.
” Consider how the wildflowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Luke 12:27