It's not that I don't love all flowers, don't get me wrong, I do.
It's just that I have a special love affair with tropical flowers, namely Indian Jasmine (ah, the intoxicating smell), waxy Asian lilies and mostly, the queen of them all -- orchids.
I think this one might be my favorite Summer yet, in terms of places I have been. Yes, people, I am discovering how much I love my home...
When I look at our orchids I can't help but get flashbacks of the six or seven weeks I spent in Thailand last year. I absolutely loved every minute of it, in spite of all the tragedy that brought me there in the first place.
May, 2008 -- My friend John, who is also our handyman and thusly a semi-regular visitor to our home (Jamie, my cat used to think that John actually lived here), was here fixing our backdoor just a few days after one of the deadliest hurricanes of all time claimed hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives in Myanmar. On the spur of the moment, John and I decided to fly down to Thailand and see if they needed volunteers. Lucky was contemplating coming along too, but he couldn't make it. Plus it's not like we had any concrete ideas of what we would end up doing down there, especially considering that the Myanmar government was rejecting all foreign aid and visas. Well, anyway, within days of our arrival, we made friends with some awesome people down in Bangkok. I'll never forget these people, ever, however motley a crew we were, we were such a great little group of fast friends.
A couple of days after the Myanmar Embassy was set on fire, a lovely old lady took me out of Bangkok to introduce me to some Thai big shots at the Ministry of Health.
Never have I ever seen as many orchids in my entire life as I did on the way to the Ministry... ah, you wouldn't believe it, they were growing everywhere like weeds. It was out of this world, I tell you.
I can't look at an orchid now and not think of Thailand. You see, I have seen the most beautiful orchids before, in Malaysia, in Singapore, growing on trees, but on that trip, in Thailand, orchids were the only constant factor in the ever changing scenery... See, one minute you're talking to a Burmese guy who's worried that his family might have died in the hurricane and there's not a thing in the whole wide world he can do, the next minute you're having tea with high powered individuals in the Ministry, surrounded by people who have the power and influence to do anything and beyond. One minute you're getting your visa denied because the Embassy is in flames, right in front of your eyes, the next minute you're sitting in a five star hotel's state-of-the-art restaurant in a meeting with a non-profit who luckily obtained visas from before the hurricane. One minute, in some hush-hush meeting you're being shown underground photographs of dead bodies of children rotting in the cholera infected waters down in the Delta, the next minute you're in your room being spoiled by exotic food the staff sent up for you as they noticed you hadn't eaten all day. And through all of that, orchids everywhere. On every plate your food is served on, by every soap dish in every bathroom you use, growing wild on every porch you pass and behind the left ear of the street vendor outside my hotel where I stop and buy fresh coconut water.
And now, a year later, while sipping my morning coffee, half mindedly listening to the thunder I notice that wherever I look I see our breathtakingly beautiful orchids blossoming in this rainy summertime we've got here.
What's not to like?
My 'vanda' orchids growing "naked" (not in pots, just hanging) allowing the roots to dangle naturally as they would in the forest canopy. (After the rain)
I really need to find my real camera soon as these iPhone photos don't do justice to these beauties I tell you.
No need to throw away the spent flowers, they look great on the breakfast table...
Yes, I grow plants inside my breakfast table, underneath the glass top.
It beats any table cloth I tell you! I first saw it done in India many years ago.
OK, I'd better stop here. I can talk a marathon about Thailand and orchids...