I grew up in a small town. Since it was a university town, it gave me access to many interesting people from many places. And I had access to all kinds of books, and I read a lot. So it never felt like a too-small town to me, and I did not feel as if I were missing out on the world. Not at all.
And yet, somehow, it wasn't until I moved to Croatia that I learned one could grow daffodils in the middle of winter. Victoria magazine had just begun being published in the States before I moved over, and my sweet grandmother had them sent to me each month after she learned how much I enjoyed it.
And somewhere in one of those winter issues I saw yellow daffodils being grown inside, sitting in a windowsill with snow visible out the window. And with those long, freezing cold, gray Croatian winters, I dreamed of having daffodils in the middle of January. One issue even gave instructions on how to "force" the bulbs so that they would grow. I never got a chance to try it, since I didn't know where to get the bulbs, but, oh, how I looked longingly at those photos and dreamed of doing it and of seeing that spring beauty early.
Well, I never have done it. We moved to the States, and for the first few years we didn't have space in the apartment to do indoor projects that involved taking up space beyond what was needed for books and papers. And before long I discovered that you could buy them. Someone else had done the work of chilling the bulbs and forcing their growth to come early.
And I am so thankful!
I'm also thankful for the new camera given to me for Christmas by my techno-savvy husband, who got fed up when he tried to use my older camera (which was a hand-me-down from him, so I don't know how old it was!) and missed a shot because it took so long to get it to do what he wanted. He had been saying for a while that I needed a new camera, but I think his own experience with it must be what convinced him the time had come.
I am still getting used to it.
But I'll never get used to the wonder of having these beautiful flowers in the middle of winter. Even though it's not as cold here, and isn't gray for as long, and we don't look out the windows and see snow for days on end, it's still winter. And the sign of spring is more than welcome.