Sunday, October 16, 2011


I'VE KNOWN PEOPLE who say that cut flowers remind them of funerals. Maybe it all has to do with childhood and I can't even recall the first funeral I attended, but I don't associate flowers with it particularly. Thank goodness!

When we meet for lunch,  Susie usually brings me a bouquet from her bountiful garden. She has a knack, not only for gardening, but for putting form and color together in informal arrangements that please me no end. Thank you, dear Susie!

Once in a while I yearn for a clutch of tulips. I rely on Trader Joe's to supply me when the urge strikes. There's something about the way that tulips rearrange themselves, seemingly during the night, that fascinates me. And did you know that they continue to grow once in water? Therefore, the arrangement gets taller and when the flowers droop to one side, I'm in heaven.

Now about the other Tulip......the Bedlington Terrier that's in Tim's life. It's an interesting situation in that the dog is owned by a friend who lives in an apartment that doesn't allow animals, so Tulip lives with Tim at night, but is picked up by the friend on his way to work at his dog grooming establishment. When Tim walks Tulip, they are continuously stopped by people who ask about the breed, never before having seen a Bedlington which for all the world, does resemble a little sheep. 

Forty-nine years ago, while Tim was in utero, we bought a full-grown Bedlington. Buddy came from a family of adults and didn't much like sharing attention with our children. He lasted three weeks in our household until we were forced to admit that it wasn't a good match and returned him to his former owners. I don't think we even asked for a refund, in the shame of our failure.

In the years she's lived with Tim, Tulip has barked only once. She's a most unusual being (don't we all say or at least think that about our children?) For instance, at Christmastime, Tim puts antique toys under his tree. To the side is a basket with Tulip's toys in it. With no training whatsoever, Tulip helps herself to her playthings, but never touches the other treasures. We're not altogether sure whether it's brilliance or possibly the other end of the intelligence scale. No matter, we love Tulip for who she is.

The poignant part is that Tim's friend has just purchased a condo. It's a place that allows animals.

In other words, Tulip will be going away. It makes me sad to think about it.

Lamott is an unstoppable storyteller, whether writing about church-going with a sullen adolescent or reconciling with her late mother. She rages against the Iraq war but takes comfort from her sage-like Presbyterian minister, who says faith is not about how we feel; it is about how we live. ...
Rule 1: We are all family.
Rule 2: You reap exactly what you sow, that is, you cannot grow tulips from zucchini seeds.
Rule 3: Try to breathe every few minutes or so.
Rule 4: It helps beyond words to plant bulbs in the dark of winter.
Rule 5: It is immoral to hit first.
                                                                                                                          Anne Lamott


  1. awwwww! Will Tulip at least come to visit, then?? It seems she'd miss her caretaker and home with Tim, too. Sweet post! Tulips are one of my favorite flowers. I did know their stems keep growing--I believe they're the only plants that do that. Fascinating.

  2. Love tulips!

    Will Tim get visitation rights?

  3. My thing is dead flowers. I ask my family to not bring me dead flowers as they work hard to bloom. So I get nice potted plants instead. In time they go back to their gardens. Fun !
    But I don't get upset about other people loving bouquets.
    Love and hugs A Non Y Mouse

  4. An oddly fascinating storying, Without your desciption, the photo of Tulip wrestling (smothering?) Tim's face is also oddly fascinating.

  5. So how come Tim does not get a buddy of his own? Many a buddy out their is looking for a home!

  6. This just breaks my heart. Tim IS Tulip's Daddy. Sure it made life "flexible" for Tim and also for his friend to "share" Tulip. I think they should work out "visitation" so Tulip doesn't get hurt in the process as well. Both parties had some freedom to come and go as they pleased by sharing Tulip...but this is going to be a huge void in Tim's life AND for Tulip as well.

    We all need a person in our lives such as Tim. What a great great guy...and I've always adored Tulip too.

    Trying to post on a Windows system instead of Linux...wish me luck. I try to post on the blog all the time and have never been able to do so. This is my first attempt on a Windows system.

  7. YAY....IT WORKED !!!!!

    Your blog doesn't like Linux...but at least now I know.