I grew up in Buffalo. South Buffalo to be exact. When I was 5 or 6 my family moved from a small apartment into my Gram’s house and she moved into our apartment. It was like we traded. When my gram lived in our house, she planted these tulips out front. They were sent to her from my Uncle Terry, when he was in stationed in Turkey.
I was amazed that they came back every year. I loved getting down on my knees and looking inside of them and seeing their weird, black, spikey innards. I remember picking them (and getting in trouble). You might think they’re not much to look at now, but they were the first flowers I fell in love with.
I’ve lived in cities my whole life. Buffalo, San Jose, San Francisco and now Baltimore. It wasn’t until I moved to Baltimore and had a little rowhouse garden that I started thinking about flowers. It must have been serendipitous. My favorite wedding gift was a big bag of tulips bulbs from Eric’s great aunt Mary Dell. We planted them immediately in our little patch of backyard soil.
My mom is selling our house in Buffalo. The house I lived in for 21 years. The house she grew up in as well. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m sad. I’m not sad. I still have friends and family in Buffalo. I have great memories of our house on McKinley. And I have this picture of my gram’s tulips.. I can’t help but think that this little plot of urban beauty is part of what inspired me to choose the path I’m on. Funny how much flowers (and mother’s and grandmother’s) can make a difference in your life. I realize that now and I’m grateful.