wild turtle crossing

slow: writer at play

Vivian Henoch

Vivian Henoch
Northville, Michigan, USA
June 17
Writer and editor:myJewishDetroit.org
I write around. Follow me on Twitter @vivianhenoch or @myJDetroit


MAY 4, 2012 8:21AM

Costco Tulips

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We planted them in much the same way we bought them.  
Greedily. Recklessly.  In random order. Late in the season, last fall, we drilled their tender little bulbs into the cold ground using a power tool, of all things.   
Ruthless gardening.  And yet, here they are. . .rewarding our indifference. They survived the early rabbits, and now they rise to the sun, showered in the morning dew, lifting their faces in delicate tulip splendor. Not bad for an impulse purchase at Costco.
Tulip bulbs in packages of fifty.  I believe we chose two or three  standing at the entrance of the store, debating should we buy them?  Sure, why not, what can we lose but an afternoon of digging in the dirt? 
Costco is my husband’s store. He shops there handily. Navigating the edges, he brings home our healthful stock of greens, fruits, nuts, berries, fish, butter, eggs. 
On the occasions when I accompany him, my grocery shopping habit swings wildly out of control, skews to impulsive and exuberant decisions. Yes, there’s always the practicality of the 24-roll bundle of toilet paper. But in what state of mind does anyone shop when the choices are everything and anything from a casket to a diamond watch to 50-ounce jar of peanut butter? 
For me, shopping at Costco is an exercise in damage control.  My simple rule -  to buy only what I “need” and only what I can carry out with both arms - doesn’t apply here.
Perhaps it’s because I suffer from RADHD: retail attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  The breadth and heft of the shopping carts, the length of the aisles,  the height of the ceiling, the sheer acreage of the store, and the commotion of the traffic, all put me into a state of hyperkinetic distraction. 
Like a mouse in the cupboard, I stand in the cereal aisle, nose twitching. 
With indiscretion, I sample freely: tidbits of cheesecake and runny macaroni salad offered in tiny paper cups with diminutive plastic spoons. Shamelessly,  I finger bits of soggy pepperoni pizza and crackers smeared with questionable dips. . . with no intent of purchase.
Rutterless, I drift into the wine section to study labels on the bottles. I wander through the overstock of books, page through the Harry Potter remainders, wondering who reads this stuff anyway.  
I am Costco’s best kind of customer.  Aimless and defenseless. 
I banish the thought of buying a roller-cooler.  I resist the impulse to lie down for a nap on the Memory Foam Mattress King. Instead I march down the candy aisle on a mission to find Ghiradelli Chocolate Squares. With no such luck. 
Like Ferdinand the bull, I tune out the raging Costco arena to stop and smell the roses at the aisle before checkout. I throw my bouquet into the cart, one more impulse decision to go with the the industrial-strength quantity of aspirin, 40-count AA battery pack and bag of rock-hard avocados.  

In line, in the clatter of baskets and cash registers and children clamoring for lunch, I observe how we have filled our carts to the brimming as though we were about to cross the prairie in covered wagons, as if Costco were our last outpost for food and supplies,  the final stop before the end of civilization as we know it.

With revenues of $89 billion, Costco has 600 warehouses and 433 stores across the US with more than 65 million card-carrying members.  I confess to being one of them . . . a hunter, a gatherer, a distracted shopper, shopping in reckless abandon, taking occasional creature comfort  . . . in the tulips. 
You can learn a lot of things from the tulips

All in a golden afternoon

Tulip finale, blown out in the storm last night.

Bird interrupted. Flown from the nest too early.  Nature can be cruel. 


Location, location, location!  Bird-brained nesting property value plummeting. 

Photos: VHenoch
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Nice photos and words.. I love tulips.. it means sunlight to me.
That is one heck of a birds egg.:)
Fabulous, you captured what I feel in there but my response is I'm to overwhelmed to buy, I need out. Costco should hand you a paper cup with a valium sample when you walk in the door. About 5 years ago I encouraged my mom to buy 200 tulips at Costco. It was a drizzly weekend in October before I had time off to plant. As she shows me the chubby happy tulips she loves, I wish we'd bought her more. Yours are gorgeous, they look like pastry.
ahhhhhhhh tulips.

ohhhhhhhhhhhh costco. me too. who can resist costco?
Gorgeous tulips Vivian, but I just can't do Costco. Instantly depressed on entering.

To help you get over your birds, lively nest action here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=2433
Beautiful tulips, sorry about the bird nest, yes, bad place for it.
Love the light thru the tulip leaves.
Nice! And the tulips I ordered for T. arrived yesterday and I just love them, too.

Your photos are stunning. I love the way you mix words and photos...the way a great baker takes a simple dough and sprinkles it with chips to create the best ever...cookie. Your talent always amazes me. Vivian, truly...how anyone can mix peanut butter, shopping, tulips rimmed dew..the entire story of life...a nest in the wrong location and that incredible picture of a perfect egg and life spilled around it...is genius. And in addition the RADHD..of which I suffer..like you can't believe, WHEW. X2
Thanks to all -- for your comments. This post was just for fun. And serendipitous: back luck for the bird, good for the photographer.
Linda-- sunlight, indeed.
l'Heure Bleue . . . pastry! Ah, perhaps because I've been working on pastry in the kitchen. For the recipe, head on over to Food52, and you'll find a green onion galette in "Community Picks" -- proud to say it's my handiwork.
Foolish M-- Costco, no I can't resist (at least to write about it)
Greenheron -- Depressed at Costco: (I secretly believe they pump oxygen into the atmosphere (as they do in casinos) to inspire more shopping.
Sheila -- thanks. The robins return every spring, usually build their nests under our deck-- this one was over the deck, who knows why.
Zanelle - it's all about the light
Jonathan... I'm sure T loved them too
Ande - wow, thank you so much for your comment. wow.
I usually start highlighting my favorite pieces and then re-read, but your work was flawless this time, and all I can say is not only do I relate, but I was finished reading and wanting more... A good decision to plant the renewable blessings and then photograph them with soooooo much beauty. Well done!
I have never seen a casket in Costco though I read HP greedily.
I don't know why they sell tulips down here, it's not like they can survive our 90 degree constant weather.
Gorgeous things, tulips, I envy the fact that you can have them.
And I would have never guessed rabbits eat them.
Down here, if we are not careful, the orchids are eaten by these huge iguanas that look more like dinosaurs than anything else.