Thursday, May 3, 2012
Fields Of Color
Thank you for your kind words about the new ministry my sweetheart and I have undertaken. It is so fulfilling to begin to develop deep relationships with mature adults all around us. They have so much to add to our lives and we always come away more blessed than we could ever imagine.
A couple of days ago, despite intermittent rain showers and a bit of wind, I took a few senior ladies from our church to a big, local annual event. We had planned to go a week ago but the weather forced us to reschedule. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival draws hundreds of thousands of people from around the area – and beyond – each year. Acres and acres of color – tulips in bloom all around – capture your heart the moment you arrive.Giant oak trees stand like sentinels nearby.Everywhere you look there are tulips – of all colors.Colors planted together. . .
Or alone.The festival grounds are filled with places to pose for photos – some for adults, some for children. It didn’t take me long to spot this big yellow wooden shoe that was soon filled with a darling little girl. The windmill on the far side of the fields seems to call you to come close. Benches are scattered all through the fields for quiet moments of rest and reflection here and there.You can probably guess that yellow tulips are my favorite. . .but another of my favorites is 'Queen of the Night’ - a 'black' tulip. I loved how they were contrasted against rows and rows of yellow. There are all kinds of things to do and foods to eat – especially on the weekends. One of the fun features every year is the ‘Cow Train’ that takes guests – big and small – all around the fields of color. We gals opted for a more dignified way of travel – we took the shuttle with ‘respectable’ seats and easy access in and out.
The main gift shop is filled with all kinds of wonderful things – books, souvenirs, pottery, Dutch Delft tile, cups and saucers and beautiful things that captured my heart. A little ‘outdoor’ gift shop featured all kinds of things – most related to the garden. A teapot birdhouse. . .
A garden tile sign (and a silly little snail) that would brighten any gardener’s day. . .A tiny pot of (plastic) daffodils. . .And tee-shirts to bring back happy memories.
There were tulips everywhere – in the fields, in raised beds, in pots and in arrangements. On the counter of the gift shop door we were all enchanted by this vase of yellow tulips. They were different than any we had seen before.The blooms were huge! And they seemed unreal - until we touched them. Soon we were headed back toward home. The car was filled with happy chatter as we rode through the countryside. Once in town we filled a big table at a new restaurant and enjoyed more time together – and good food. It’s a day that will always be a treasure in my heart. The friendships deepened in the tulip fields will be even more special because of the adventure we shared for a few hours this week. As I reminisce and remember the beauty and the laughter and the fun of our day together I’m carefully studying the catalog I brought home. Trying to decide and pick and choose the tulips that should grace my yard and home – and bring back the memories of one gray day in the valley of Oregon. A day that was brightened by the ‘bloom’ of friendships made precious.