One of my most vivid memories of living in Paris from the ages of 10-12, was my father coming home from work in downtown Paris with bunches of tulips purchased from the flower market for my mother. Thus, for me, tulips have come to symbolize the deep love that my parents shared throughout their marriage, even during those difficult years for Paris, Europe and the world, of 1955 to 1958...

Imagine this, my mother Alice, lived her entire adult life in Florence, SC until she met my father Norman Ballard during WWII. They met when he was stationed in Florence in 1944 where I came along a year later.  After a couple of moves stateside, I wonder how she was able manage with 2 children and life in the neighborhood of Saint Cloud on the outskirts of Paris.  The Hungarian Revolt, the shut down of the Suez canal during the winter (this meant no heat one winter because there was no coal), the flooding of the Marne River where we lived, along with the unrest and bombings in the city of Paris due to the difficult relations between the French and the Algerians, were all events that happened during the years we lived in and loved Paris... Way to go MOM, is all I can say!  

One of my tulips that has returned for a second year.  Did I mention that tulips always remind me of Easter.

One of my tulips that has returned for a second year.  Did I mention that tulips always remind me of Easter.

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