Share Your World | Tulips A-Go-Go

Once a week Cee asks the questions on her blog, and I answer them here on my blog.  

• Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.

Yes, *sigh* back when I was a crazy, younger, athletically inclined woman who followed the crowd, I was a cyclist.  I did lots of 30+ mile bike rides for charities, and even once went so far as to go on a Backroads bike tour vacation.

This adventure in hell vacation started in New Bern, NC, and involved days of bike riding on dodgy, bermless country roads, littered with dead snakes and frogs.  Roads, filled with 18-wheeler lumber trucks zipping past us, spewing bits of pine bark and needles as they went by.  It was scary.

Throughout the tour we were on a strict time schedule to get to ferry-boats to go island to island along the NC Outer Banks, with the goal of getting to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?

However, this did not happen because a huge storm, the aftermath of a hurricane, disrupted the ferry service to Cape Hatteras.  Meaning that our last ferry-boat was abruptly cancelled, leaving us stuck one island short of Cape Hatteras, on Ocracoke Island.  In a dumpy motel.

So with torrential rain falling and nowhere to go, we abandoned the pretense of cycling, made note of Ocracoke’s famous ponies, and drank excessively in the one bar that was open while it stormed, all the while lamenting that we were never going to get to Cape Hatteras.

Which *sigh* was the whole point of the bike tour.

• Name one thing not many people know about you.

I will not wear the color orange, so keep all your sports fan gear away from me.

• What is your favorite flower?

Tulips. Graceful and colorful, with no excessive leaves to muddle up their lines or draw attention away from their colorful petals.

• Things I want to have in my home (paintings, hot tubs, book cases, big screen tv etc)

While it’s true that I like things, and that if my life had gone in a different direction I might have become an interior designer, I feel that for me to list all the things that I want to have in my home would take hours.

Instead, I’ll leave you with the following quote by William Morris that summarizes how I’m learning to evaluate the things in my home: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

• Optional Bonus Question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week’s gratitude award goes to the cats featured in the YouTube video below.  They make me smile.  I’m beyond impressed by their focus and skill– and that any human being was able to get them to do what they’re doing.

This week’s looking forward to something goes to Zen-Den listening to S•Town podcast so that he and I can discuss it.  At length.  Produced by Serial and This American Life, S•Town is the most compelling investigative-journalistic-true-crime-ish story I’ve heard [or read] in years.  Think Southern Gothic genre.  The language is coarse.  The topics are mature.  And the story is so good… in a bad way.  Highly recommended.

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This post is part of Cee’s Share Your World Weekly Writing Challenge.

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Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

63 thoughts on “Share Your World | Tulips A-Go-Go”

  1. Haha! Love how the tabby gave up on it’s own bell, and that rather forlorn look the other one sends out wondering just what happened to the idea of yours and mine. I have tulips on my table at this very moment! They are such a true sign of spring. The fancy feathery ones always astound me.

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  2. heh heh a miracle, in second place for the comments! Would be in last place for any biking, swimming and all those exhausting activities. Love the William Morris quote – he was a master …

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    1. Susan, the whole biking vacation was a nightmare that I’ve never repeated. It cost a lot of money, but made a lasting impression: just drive and walk, on your own, where you want to go, Ms. Bean!

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  3. I think cycling holidays have come a long way from the one you describe Ally. Perhaps you should try another!

    I share your love of tulips although I equally love pansies in the spring. Such happy, vibrant colours to behold after the dead of winter.

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    1. Lynn, I’m sure that you’re right about the bike vacations! This one was over 20 years ago– and much has changed for the better in the world of vacation tours. Of course, I no longer have the desire to ride a bike, but if I did… I might go on another one. Maybe.

      I like pansies, too. Both tulips and pansies are bright and cheerful– right when our world looks gray and gloomy. Gotta love them.

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  4. I never heard about your bike trip before this! Wow! What an adventure! It could have been so different. Maybe in your next life!
    I love the Morris quote, too. That’s pretty much what we live by here. Although what is beautiful to us may not be so for others.
    Daisies are my favorite flower. They are so happy!
    The kitty videos always crack me up! I have no idea how they get cats to do these amazing things. But they sure are fun to watch!
    Cool post!

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    1. Beth, the bike trip was one of those experiences that changed my life for the more sedentary. I went outside my comfort zone, hated it– and learned that walking is a great way for me to get from point A to point B.

      I know what you mean about wondering if what we think is beautiful resonates with anyone else. Doesn’t stop me from doing what I want, of course. Just wondering! 🙂

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    1. Allie P, good point. I liked the people who I met along the way, and when it wasn’t raining it was quite pretty. So if we forgot the whole bike riding idea, then a trip to NC would be great. Maybe someday we’ll get back that way. On foot or in a car. 😉

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    1. Tara, I wondered about that, too. I mean, it’s amazing enough that the cats ring the bells to begin with, but then why did Mr. Tabby decide that only one bell was the right bell to ring?

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  5. Love that cat video. I have a tabby who is extremely food motivated, so I bet I could teach him to do that bell thing. Tulips are one of my fave flowers too. Our spring is still on its way–we’d had a huge snowstorm about a week ago, but today it’s in the 80s, so tulips should be popping up soon!

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    1. Kate, if you get your cat to do the bell thing, I will be in awe of you. We had cats. They showed no sign of having any interest in ever doing what I wanted them to do. We are just beginning to see tulips here. The daffodils are looking raggedy so I’m more than ready for tulips.

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  6. My problem is finding a place to send those things I no longer find beautiful. I have collected too many decorative items over the years, but what to do with the excess? I live too far off the beaten path for a garage sale.

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    1. Carol, I just had this very conversation yesterday with a friend! We all have stuff now that needs to go elsewhere, but how do you get rid of it? Especially collectible things like Hummels and family jewelry and old furniture? Garage sales are frowned upon around here and auction houses are fussy about what they’ll take. So do you give it all to Goodwill and call it a contribution on your taxes? Or do you foist it upon unsuspecting younger family members? No answer here, just lots of questions.

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    1. Margaret, you and me both– no orange or yellow clothes for me. These two cats in the video amaze me. How did anyone get them to do that?

      [Of course, how did anyone get me to go on a bike vacation? There are unanswerable mysteries in this world! ;-)]

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    1. Mary, when I first saw the video I couldn’t believe it! I thought the same thing that you did: I’d want to keep close tabs on where that bell was in the house. If you get Gibbs to ring for his dinner, by all means put it on video and share it with everyone.

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    1. Cee, the bike tour was an experience that confirmed I’m uncoordinated & taught me: if a physical activity scares you, then don’t do it. Seems obvious in retrospect, but at the time I wanted to be part of the group… so I risked life and limb to do so. 🙄

      And yes, the cats are cute as can be.

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  7. My girls and I adored that cat vid. I had to call them over b/c I knew they would. And yikes, about the bike trip. Agreed that tulips are awesome and orange shouldn’t be seen on anybody. Not sure why that color exists outside of sunsets and flowers, and, of course, the fruit. Otherwise, it should face extinction.

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    1. Betsy, when I first saw the cat video I was speechless. How could this be, I wondered?

      The bike trip was memorable, and changed the way in which I viewed myself. I’m the walkingest girl now, you all just go ahead on your bikes. I’ll catch up. 😉

      And I totally agree with you about orange, lack of need for it outside of nature, where it belongs. Such a weird color.

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    1. Akilah, I was young and nuts. I had more energy back then. I wanted to belong, so I went along. It all changed after this bike tour, when I embraced my inner sloth and came to my senses. 😉

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  8. I love the cat video. I watched it at least 4 times this week when I needed a laugh and it never, ever got old.

    The bike long distance biking thing sounds fun – not your vacation though – that sounds awful. I like to bike but don’t do it often enough.

    My experience with long distance ANYTHING was signing up for this 3 day 20 mile a day walk for breast cancer. I trained and trained and trained and then the weekend of it was BLASTED hot and I forgot my extra changes of socks in the luggage that was sent to the campsite so I ended up with blisters beneath my blisters beneath my blisters and had to quit part way through day 2. I could do nothing but ice my feet for the next 3 days. It was horrendous. I’ve always told myself I would do it again (I was so sad for not completing it) but I can’t bring myself to do it. I just can’t.

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    1. Kate, I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t like that cat video. I mean, so amazing/goofy. What’s not to love?

      I suspect that long distance bike tours are better organized now, and if you don’t end up dodging dead critters on the road and get to your destination as planned, it might be fun.

      I think it’s inspiring that you tried to do the long distance charity walk! 60 miles in three days is a lot terrain to cover, even if you have the right socks on. I understand your reluctance to do the walk again. I’d feel the same way: wanna do it, but…

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    1. John, that’s exactly what happened at the end of this bike tour. There we sat at the bar knowing that just across the way was the lighthouse– and a much better hotel that we were supposed to be in. Ironic now, but defeating then.

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    1. joey, the cats are perfection. The bike tour was long ago, but left a lasting impression. I like coral and I’d wear that. It’s construction barrel orange/popsicle orange that I will not wear. No one should, really. imho.

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  9. I’m laughing at your comment that the biking mis-adventure changed your life for the more sedentary. What a nightmare! I hope the intervening years of tulips, bell-ringing cats, and avoiding wearing orange have proved to be a soothing counterpoint to what I would consider a very miserable so-called vacation.

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    1. Deborah, you described my bike tour quite accurately– it was a miserable so-called vacation. I came back from it a changed woman, less inclined to exercise with anything involving wheels, more inclined to exercise using my own feet striding along on the ground. And, of course, over the years never wearing orange has contributed to my sense of well-being, so all’s well that ends well. 😉

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    1. Kate, orange is a tricky color. To those who like it, it’s gorgeous. But on me it’s hideous.

      Yes, the whole bike tour thing is an example of youthful exuberance gone awry. Of course the amount that we drank at the bar was also an example of youthful exuberance. Couldn’t do that anymore either! 😉

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    1. nancy, the cats make me smile just thinking about the video. I’d love to drive through the Outer Banks someday– then walk around each island. But the bike thing… not so great. And happy to know that you’re another tulip aficionado. There can never be too many.

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  10. No orange? We have black and orange Fridays during baseball season (or any other time we want to celebrate our San Francisco Giants. 30 mile bike ride? I think NOT. Not even in my crazier younger, years was I ever so athletically inclined.

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    1. Janet, you are free to wear orange all you want to. In fact I’d be happy to give you any and all orange clothing/accessories that inexplicably come my way. Wear orange in good health with my blessing, my dear.

      Yes, my whole youthful cyclist phase is one that just goes to show that if you’re a follower you’ll end up doing some wrong-for-you things. Think and move for yourself, eh?

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  11. Whenever I see bicyclists getting passed by giant trucks on the roads near my parents’ house (it’s VERY popular with bicycles), I always wonder how it is any fun. Good to know there may be people who are biking who might not be enjoying it as much as the bicyclists in my life protest they are enjoying it.

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    1. Sarah, for people who like the thrill of moving fast and dancing with danger, then cycling along the side of the road is fun. I get that. But for me it seemed unnecessarily dangerous– and put me in a state of high anxiety for the whole ill-fated vacation. I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten over that feeling… 😧

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  12. I have a real fondness for spring flowers, especially lilacs and hyacinths, both of which have a sentimental connection for me. Lilies of the Valley are another big favourite of mine.

    And isn’t it something how any perfume of those three never, ever smells as good as the flower itself? They’re always terribly strong and overpowering, no matter how lightly you apply/spray them. Just as well, I guess. There’s no sense trying to improve on–or even copy–Nature.

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    1. nance, it’s interesting that you mention how the perfumes fail to live up to the real flowers. I was thinking that exact thing as I read your first paragraph. We used to have a lilac bush that made for the nicest cut flowers in a vase, scenting the house. But any of the lilac candles I’ve ever sniffed are awful. You said it, no sense trying to copy Nature.

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    1. Janis, I’m the same way with orange and my skin tone. They clash. The podcast is like none other that I’ve heard, and because the characters in the story are real people, it’s fascinating, horrifying, amazing, compelling. If you train your husband by all means video it to inspire the rest of us. 😉

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  13. I love your quote about only having stuff you love. I used to be a pack rat. Growing up poor made me want to collect but then I realized, I’m not a fan of clutter. What a revelation! And that cat video is one of my faves! How long have you been blogging? You get a ton of comments!

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    1. allthethings3, having grown up in a pack rat family, I have much stuff, too. I’m trying to overcome my upbringing and get rid of stuff that I don’t want. I use that quote as my guide.

      I’ve been blogging in one place or another since 2004. Long story how this casual hobby morphed into more of a calling, but I seem to attract chatty folks for the long haul– which makes me happy & leads to lots of comments. 🙂

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