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I went all out for Mother’s Day when I was a child.  I took it very seriously.  I had a ritual that I repeated for many years.


On the Saturday before THE SUNDAY, I would ride my bike to an old vacant lot surrounded by hedges of lilacs that were about two stories high.  There was a mix of varieties, including what I called French Lilacs, deep purple, white lilacs which were incredibly fragrant, and double lilacs, with double the number of usual petals.  I was in heaven and snapped the branches of as many as I could carry, often going back for more.

lilac bushes

Happy with myself, I rode home, stuffed every vase I could find with lilacs, then carried them down to the cellar, waiting for their appearance on the Big Day.  I also knew where to find stashes of violets, so those were captured as well.  Delicate and fragile, they filled my mom’s antique  cups. I’d be sure to get up early on Sunday, an accomplishment for me, to carry up the flowers from the darkness of the cellar, to the daylight of the living room and dining room. Their scent would fill the house.   It was glorious, as I remember, and my Mom always acted thrilled.


If I could return to any part of my childhood, Mothers Day celebration, would be tops on my list.  With my Mom by my side, of course!

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • Susan Ward says:

    There is almost nothing more beautiful and fragrant then a lilac bush in the spring. Vivid memories!

  • Eleanor Moriarty says:

    Oh what a beautiful thing to do I am sure she adored it. I love this one and I never knew you did that act as a celebration of your Mom and of course the love of lilacs
    I planted 2 Lilac trees years ago up here. Spring up here is late and a blink but the fragrance and sight of those blooms bring me back to my childhood

  • Brett Vapnek says:

    What a sublime memory. Are you sure you didn’t dream that? 😉

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