The Suitcase Lady


April 12, 2016, 10:16 pm

Cherry blossoms follow Mother Nature’s whims. If she tosses out an endless winter of blizzards and freezing nights, the blossoms are delayed. Conversely, a mild winter and early thaws result in early flowers.

People have a penchant for organizing, planning ahead and ignoring the Earth Mother’s powers. This can result in Cherry Blossom Festivals being held when no cherry blossoms make an appearance.

For the last 20 years, my husband and I have tried to view Wisconsin’s famous Door County cherry orchards when they are in peak bloom. For 20 years we have failed at this quest. The blossoms either have not arrived or have come and gone. A live web cam site tracking the progress of the buds would be most helpful.


The Washington Post (Dennis Govoni)

Fortunately, life can hand out good surprises. Two weeks ago we left our home state during a blinding blizzard for a long planned trip to Washington, D.C. Arriving in the nation’s Capitol, we discovered that it was Cherry Blossom Festival, and, even more miraculously, all the trees around the Tidal Basin were in full, exquisite bloom. For three days we luxuriated in seas of flowers. When warm breezes blew, we felt like tiny figures in a snow globe.

The famous Washington Yoshino cherry trees began as a gift from Japan of 3,000 trees in 1912. We reciprocated with dogwoods and the exchange continues to this day. The trees do not produce edible cherries (unless you’re a bird) so no Cherry Pie Festival is held in D.C.

Back in Wisconsin, we are approximately five weeks and several snowstorms away from our blossoms. We will try again to see them. We are not optimistic. But there is a consolation prize. Our trees produce pie cherries and cherry pie is a certainty in fall.


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