Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tulip Time

Red tulips

Nothing says Easter and gaudy like tulips. In fact they resemble the bright plastic eggs that show up full of candy in children's baskets. My paternal grandmother packed a mean plastic Easter egg. She crammed them full of Hershey's kisses (only one milk chocolate flavor back them) jelly beans, and Spicette gumdrops. I love spice flavored stuff. Imagine my horror when a friend told me that was the candy that was left in his family's Easter basket uneaten. It was the first I ate, well those, and the kisses. I had no idea! I was almost embarrassed by my uncritical taste, but then I thought “I don't care, I love Spicette gumdrops!”. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah Kurt! The real plus of plastic eggs was that if I was hunting them, then I was with my cousins, and of course that was a lot of fun.
Small purple tulips

At my house we dyed our eggs. Really dyed them. Mother would pull out all the deep old tea cups, the ones we never used and she would boil a huge pot of eggs. We would put a spoonful of vinegar in the bottom of each cup and a few drops of McCormick or French's food coloring. Then we filled the cup up pretty full of boiling water and carefully spooned a boiled egg into the cup. We wanted the water to completely cover the eggs so there wouldn't be a ring left from part of the egg sticking above the dye. Whenever I smell vinegar I flash back to that childhood memory.

It is hard to say which I loved more, coloring the eggs or hunting them. My dad was good at hiding them and it was fun to hunt them with him. But I got to hunt them several times and I only got to dye them once a year, so I guess that was the most special

One year I begged for a store bought Easter basket. Mother caved in and got it. She didn't tell me they were crummy compared to the ones she made up, but I figured it out pretty quickly. Flashy cellophane and ribbon do not take the place of substance.

Tulips feel that way to me, they are showy and what a spectacular range of colors. I have a friend whose favorite flowers are bright purple tulips. But I grew up loving daffodils and narcissus, just a family choice I guess. They are tough, long lasting and very fragrant. Tulips are bright and colorful. Kind of like people I guess. The challenge is to allow both to flourish and take the best from all and look for substance whenever you can.


  1. I have those memories, too, and vinegar smell sends me back to those times. I love the simile - flowers are like people. Sometimes we do have to look for substance. Each flower is strong in it's own way.

  2. i like the black tulips and altho im not a fan of yellow, i have always loved daffodils...and eggs, well i enjoy listening to your stories, BUT i have never dyed eggs. my family wasnt that into the holiday thing. you were a blessed,lucky and fortunate child :)