It's not really spring till . . .

. . . I've received my bouquet of fully opened lilacs. 

I don't remember lilacs in California or Texas. Magnolias and azaleas, yes. Lilacs, no. Nor do I recall the showiness of seasons changing and nature turning colors.

But Minnesota introduced me to the intoxicating fragrance of lilacs--and the exquisite anticipation of them.

To draw the attention of my children to this season opener, I struck a deal with them some 20 years ago.

The first one to bring me a bouquet of lilacs (and they had to be fully blossomed--no cheating) earned $5. Every year.

They're now 27, 25, and 22 -- and not one year has passed without someone collecting on the deal. Sign of the times? Hooked on tradition? Love?

Today, my daughter came through the front door with a fistful of lilacs and an itch for her prize.

"I don't think I've won in 3 years!" she said, beaming.

Little does she know how much more she has really won.

Happy "Real" Spring!

Image by hessiebell (can you smell 'em?)


Rudee said…
Hah. Great idea for collecting flowers.

The other night, with a full hazy moon and high humidity, I left a nursing home and walked into air heavy with the aroma of lilacs. It was wonderful, but the funny thing was that even though I couldn't see any lilacs, I sure could smell them. Mine are in full bloom right now and so are the lily of the valley plants. Even though they're poisonous, I picked a handful today.
Gaston Studio said…
That is SO sweet! And the lilacs are sweet too! Ours are blooming as we speak (uh, write).

ellen abbott said…
No, no lilacs here in Texas. At least not my part of Texas. Plenty of other fragrant beauties though.

What a great tradition.
Heh. That's so awesome. Way to go, L. :-)

My spring loves are the apple blossoms. Yesterday I picked some up off the ground and stuck them behind my ear. I'm sure it looked ridiculous but I carried the scent with me for the rest of my walk with "the beast."
magpie said…
lovely tradition.

i have a friend at work who
leaves lilies of the valley
on my desk each may
when they bloom.

i look forwaard but am
always surprised.
Pyzahn said…
Lovely tradition, indeed. I'm always charmed by the closeness of your family. That's very precious.

Alas, my lilacs did not bloom this year. I'm very sad. Don't know what happened. But at least I have the fragrance of honeysuckle.
Grace Albaugh said…
I'm envious! I've been loosing about a branch a year on my old Lilacs. This year they are so very sad. I'm hoping to get a few blooms from the white one. Time to plant a new generation.
Kathleen said…
Rudee: I love that image of the full moon, high humidity, and aroma of lilacs. Sounds like a peaceful way to leave work. I had no idea Lily of the Valley was poisonous. Yikes!

Jane: Sigh...nice to know lilacs are blooming all over the place.

Ellen: Do you have gardenias? Oh my gosh do I love those, too! Had them in my wedding bouquet. They're so delicate.

Jen: I love the image of you walking around with apple blossoms behind our ears. Grand idea. I'll have to try that myself.

DBSO: Funny how flowers surprise and delight. This place is just decked out in lilacs right now. If only they lasted longer!

Pyzahn: So sorry to hear about your lilacs not blooming this year. I truly don't know how ours manage to put forth anything...they're in such a shady spot. Thanks for you comments about our family. I feel so blessed.

Grace: I wonder if UM Extension might have some ideas about why your old Lilacs are losing branches? I was thinking about planting a new generation, too. But never thought to call them by that name. Love it.

Thanks for dropping by, all!
Erin Davis said…
I don't remember lilacs in CA, either. Spokane is the "Lilac City," so we've got lots of them here. I love your daughter!
Kathleen said…
Erin: No kidding. I didn't know that about Spokane. Sometimes in the depths of winter, I splurge and buy a french soap that smells perfectly of lilacs. It's so worth that little reminder of spring. Yes, that daughter is pretty special. Thanks for your comment!

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