Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore: Tulips

English: Cultivations of Tulips in South Holla...

English: Cultivations of Tulips in South Holland Italiano: Coltivazioni di tulipani dell’Olanda Meridionale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Today you have been granted the opportunity to go anywhere, do anything, meet anyone, travel in time…whatever you wish, it is yours. Now, there’s a catch. (Isn’t there always?) When you wake up tomorrow… you will not remember any of it.Would you still choose to take the offer? Can you drink in the moment and enjoy it knowing you will have no recollection of what happened? Think about it?  How important is a memory?”

Part 1:

I would hop on a first class plane, sipping orange juice and amaretto on my flight to Holland. I stretch my legs and marvel at how wonderfully everybody treats you when you are sitting in first class. I have a menu in my hands and I need to pick what I want to eat for dinner. I decide on the Surf and Turf for my entrée, happy not to have to pick just one item. After the flight attendants take everyone’s order they pass around trays of appetizers: mini lobster rolls, Brie or St. André cheese and crackers, pulled pork sliders and chicken salad with chutney in phyllo dough. Loving food, as I do, my tastebuds are dancing with joy loving the different sensations in my mouth.

I sleep for three hours and by that time the pilot announces our descent which brings me right into the airport/and waiting limousine to take me to the Tulip Festival, now in full bloom. I bask in the beautiful scenery, the rows of color: red, pink, rose, orange, green that stand in line like tiny soldiers. I drink up the sight and as fresh, cold bubbly spring water quenches my thirst, these rows of tulips fill another need. The primordial need to see beauty .  Rows upon rows of beautiful tulips, in every color, so vast that you think it is a prop from a movie. Yes, it is real and the gigantic proportions make me feel like an insect crawling on the freshly mowed grass. The scent of the grass tickles my nose and I laugh.

I am here, at the tulip festival, a place I have always wanted to see. I am giddy, my cheeks are pink from the excitement, like the color of one of the rows of tulips, my body trembles. I sit down on one of the many benches they provide for tourists, wooden slated benches, simple, nothing overdone, they mustn’t out-do the beauty ahead of them. Looking around me there are other people, each one, staring at the beautiful scene in front of us. There is no litter here, just rows of flowers, tilting their heads to the sun. Some tourists try to take photographs but you can’t capture an entire field in a photograph. Or the smell. The smell in the air is clean, fresh, with a hint of sweetness, freshly moved grass, and sunshine.

There is nothing else I want to do but sit back, stare and breathe, long, take long, deep breaths.  I do not want to sit on a bus like some of the other people, seeing churches  and old houses and attractions. I am where I want to be, in the garden of beauty, nature’s beauty and I, a quiet admirer, overwhelmed by this magnificent sight. There is nothing else I want to do but stare and take in this picture of magnificence and beauty.  I am where I want to be, in the garden of beauty, nature’s beauty and I a shy yet ardent admirer.

****

Part 2:

It’s early morning in our house. My husband, Steve, has already left to go to work by train. He has left me coffee to drink in the machine and I greedily reach for it and drink it in two or three big gulps. I go about my chores as usual. I wake up the children who need to get ready for school. Fortunately, I always make their lunches the night before so I don’t have to do it in the morning. I don’t tell the kids but I hate mornings too. I pour cereal and milk, my two kids, 8 and 11 are loud but we laugh a lot. I rush them outside to wait for the bus, get them on the bus and I wave as the bus leaves. They still wave back to me, I know it won’t last very long, they are growing up so quickly.

I go to the grocery store with my list, a long one for four people in the family. I start checking off items on the list. Milk, bread, chicken, cheese, steak on sale, and about ten other items.  After I am done I wait on a very long line, reading a trashy Hollywood magazine that I refuse to buy but actually love to read. Finally, it is about to be my turn, I start unloading my cart. I add a pack of sugarless gum because I can’t resist those items at the end  of the aisle where their placement seems to stare at you, practically begging you to buy them.  My husband calls me”The ultimate consumer ” because I love to see new products at the store.  At the very last second, I reach over the counter to stretch and grab just one more thing. It’s something I never do, but I didn’t even think about this, it was impromptu. I reached over the counter and I bought tulips.  Pink tulips.

Pink Tulip 2 of 3

Pink Tulip 2 of 3 (Photo credit: krispijn.scholte)

An Open Letter To Lindsay Lohan

My files (found the original; it's not much be...

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Lindsay,

I am not a reporter or a tabloid hunter, I don’t have anything to do with Hollywood or acting, modeling or AA. The only thing I over indulge with are oatmeal raisin cookies, and the occasional (not THAT occasional) Almond Joy bar or half a piece of baklava. It won’t end me up in rehab or the Betty Ford Clinic but it does make my clothing too tight and uncomfortable. I wouldn’t be able to be a plus-sized model, I’d need to probably go up to a double plus.

That said, I can deal with emotional eating and extra pounds; I’m not twenty anymore so even though it doesn’t make me happy, I deal with it. I’m sure women in their 50’s can relate to me. I’m a parent of two teenagers, a boy 19 and a girl 17. I’m not a saint and either are they but we cope as best we can. My son has done things I don’t approve of, I’m sure my daughter will do the same. Thus ends the comparison. We’ve instilled good values in them, they are bound to make mistakes, but we will be here, always, to help them get it right with every ounce of our being and love.

You were a sweet, adorable kid. Don’t believe me? Watch The Parent Trap again. You got turned around. Turned around again and again and so fast that you seemed not to have a childhood or an adolescence or two strict parents on the same page. You have made mistakes, tried (feebly, in my own opinion) to correct them and failed, tried and failed again and again. Listen up, there’s hope, you are not Amy Winehouse. Yet.

I’m not being mean or cruel or trying to blame. I am begging you to wake up, leave your friends that party with you and move on, and most importantly, move AWAY.  Don’t care about Hollywood or movies for the time being or modeling. Just think about being clean, and whole, loved and TRUSTED. Turn your life around while you can. Don’t lose this chance. Please.

I’m not your mom, I’m not even a fan but I implore you to think about what you have been through and where you are going. You must know a lot of rich, DOWN TO EARTH celebrities that don’t live in Hollywood or NYC anymore. Reach out to them. Better yet, is there anyone that can help Lindsay, actors, philanthropists, solid, strict, good people-who don’t drink or use drugs and that have real values and appreciate life? Reach out to Lindsay, please. How about Rosie O’Donnell or Ellen Degeneres? The seem like sweethearts to me. If you know them CALL them or knowing them, RETURN their calls. I know, to my dismay, that Oprah is in a different place than she was once but I bet if you called her for help, she WOULD help you.

You are invited here, to our tiny house, but it would not be what you are used to. Maybe that’s a good thing. My husband may kill me but you can stay with us, upstairs right next to our bedroom in a tiny spare room. I wouldn’t rat you out to the press or to anyone. I would help you learn to trust again. There are people out there that you can rely on, you need to find them. Stick with them and they will stick with you.

Please don’t be the next Amy Winehouse, there is no need for that. You have a chance while so many terminally ill people DON’T. You have a choice. Now, get honest and get real, dye your hair, change your name and come over.

P.S. you would not be exempt from loading the dishes into the dishwasher or any other household family chore.

P.S.S.  My husband said it was fine.

From A Concerned Parent