Bloom

Even Vampires get the blues, but nothing so bad that some flowers won’t fix it. I dare say I don’t live in a black house with dead plants in the yard. OK I’ll admit that everything in the yard used to be dead but not anymore. I’ve spent the past three years digging in the river rocks rolled in a light dusting of dirt and managed to make something of it. The key has been to plant so that something is always blooming.

These are my flowers. The gray one is Oscar the cat.

 

 

But one can never have too many flowers in their world.

A few weekends ago I took the old ones Eleora and Tellias out to see the world. I had to get them out of their old musty house and into a bright spot. We went to the Sacramento Orchid Show.

Eleora wore satin red shoes. These were old shoes that she’d used years ago for ballroom dancing. She’d tied silk orchid flowers to the straps. She matched it with a red skirt decorated with appliqué poinsettia and snowflakes. With that she wore a yellow lace blouse. I asked her about her choice of a Christmas skirt.

Eleora looked at me with almost an eye roll and said, “Flowers. We are going to a flower show. This is a flower skirt.”

I didn’t argue. Tellias wore his usual yellow flip-flops, black dress pants, and a white tuxedo shirt with rolled up sleeves. He’d trimmed his pale blonde hair from just below his shoulders to collar length. It had kind of a wave in it now that I hadn’t seen since the 1960’s.

Lola, my great great great great great grandmama also came along. She is quite a bit younger than Eleora and Tellias, but still ancient in her own right. She wasn’t wearing anything unusual, just jeans and a pretty shirt like just about everyone else at the orchid show.

But all in all we looked like a group of nice young people. Tellias and Eleora appear to be in their late teens or maybe twenty or twenty-one. Lola looks forever twenty-five, and I look just slightly older, even thought I’m the youngest of the group at a mere 158.

I watched as Eleora and Tellias went off by themselves, huddled over each orchid plant in awe of the beauty of the unusual blooms. They talked over each other, hummed, sang a few songs, held hands, and occasionally gave each other a quick kiss. I kept a sideways eye on them just to make sure they wouldn’t do anything too odd. They were indeed a beautiful and strange pair who positively glowed over the sight of the orchids. If anyone did look at the couple they’d usually smile. How could they help but smile at those two.

Lola and I walked behind them admiring the plants and catching up with each other. She mentioned her ex-husband, her first, was alive. She thought he was dead. Of course she hadn’t seen him in about five hundred years, give or take a few. She had no intention on seeing him ever again. I asked if he had an Internet presence and she told me no. That isn’t unusual for Vampires. A lot of them go on the Dark Web for obvious reasons, or they’re like me and don’t give a crap what people think. Nobody believes any of this shit anyway, but there is an element of truth in it all – more than an element. But back to Lola…

“You need to let go of him,” I told her.

She took my arm in hers and led me to a giant yellow orchid. “That is so beautiful. I need get one of those. I’ve been trying to keep up the greenhouse. It keeps Eleora and Tellias active. They can putter around and sing little ditties to the flowers to make them bloom.” She led me over to a grouping of pink orchids. “These too. Eleora loves pink. We’re growing herbs too. Back when I was married to him we grew oranges and lemons in a greenhouse. It was too cold to grow them outside.”

“Why’d you leave him?”

“Not why you’d think. He wasn’t cheating on me or cruel to me. He was just such an asshole. So full of himself. And he was violent even for a Vampire. I didn’t like his friends either. The passion was there but… always the passion, but I got tired of fighting and making up all the time. I got so tired of all of the drama. When I met Thomas, my next husband it was like a glowing ray of moonlight. He was so kind and gentle, and he was funny. He made me laugh. And there was also great passion like every Vampire woman dreams of. Then… I just don’t understand. Thomas was burned alive as a witch, and that asshole still lives on.”

She has told me this story over and over and over, for my entire existence. We all have friends and family members like that. And as they get older they tell the stories more often. I try to keep Lola, Eleora, and Tellias involved so that they have new stories to tell.

Than again Lola’s current boyfriend is thirty nine years old. You wouldn’t think it would work but it does. I wouldn’t want my son or daughter to get involved with a much older Vampire, but Lola and Cody went in without one taking advantage of the other. Plus Lola has always been diligent about keeping up with the modern world.

As a parent I’ve always kept up with current culture. There is nothing worse for a young adult to have a mom or dad who is still living in 1984.  Parents owe it to their kids to keep up with everything from music to fashion to movies and everything else that is going on. If your kid is politically involved you need to be too. Share your music – new and old. You’ll be surprised how many things you both like. Keep an open mind. It will keep you young.

Despite their age (well over 2,000 years) I’ve always believed keeping an open mind is one of the things that has kept Eleora and Tellias young. Nobody wants to be a musty dank old Shadow Creeper and sit around in rotting Victorian clothing drinking thick days old blood in chipped old china cups. That isn’t just good advice for Vampires. It is good advice for everyone.

Tellias and Eleora bought twelve new orchids for their greenhouse. Lola texted Cody and told him to meet us later for wine on the back deck. I called my husband Teddy to do the same.

No matter who you are, or what you are, make it a goal to keep growing and blooming. And have fun, no matter what your age.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Fear and the Creative Soul

I opened the door and imagined I was on the coast.

This morning brought in cool air and overcast skies. It was one of those “at the ocean” days. Granted I’m more by a lake and a river, but the ugly mood the drought has brought was lifted for a few hours.

Today I was also feeling inspired then had a boost from my muse. Yes I have a muse, in the form of a dear friend who has encouraged my creative endeavors for the past 140 years.

Yes, there are friendships that endure and last. Now I feel guilty for letting so many years of fear and confusion hold me back when she and others have told me to keep going and to never hold back. Sometimes I wish their gentle encouragements would have been hard swift kicks.

Yes, I have had wonderful and lucrative success in the past as a creative professional but now it is time for a new chapter. It is time for everything to finally come together and for me to be where I want to be. Where I need to be.

So yes, my dear friend I heard you loud and clear. I am listening. Finally. I mean, I listened before but now I’m DOING.

I’m the Princess of saying I’m going to do something and then not coming through. Fear. Yes, Vampires do sense fear. Not fear of the dark or of things that go bump in the night or a terror in a dark alley or crypt. It is the fear that all creative creatures have. You know what I’m talking about. I dare not express it.

It isn’t just rejection. I can handle that. I’m an expert at rejection. It is much much much more. It is terror deep down inside of every cold icy pore of your existence.

Orchids

The Orchid Show (with Vampires)

The past weekend my teenage daughter Clara and I took the elders, Eleora and Tellias to an orchid show. Yes, a garden show.

From time to time we take the ancient pair out in public, least they sit around at home getting into trouble, or worse, wandering off on their own. They don’t look much older than my own teens (15 and 19) but they were born before the birth of Christ.

A young girl, college age, with long blonde hair and cheerleader looks was pushing an old woman in a wheel chair up and down the isles of flowers. They would pause and discuss the plants, heads close with smiles on their faces. The girl would take the older woman’s knotted arthritic hands in hers as they discussed the plants and took notes. Another woman, the girl’s mother walked ahead, then walked back to the other two, obviously glad for her few moments alone. Three generations of women all together, but one a little apart, by choice.

Orchid Orchids are amazing flowers. They come in every shape and size. Some look like they have fallen from the gowns of angels, while others look like deadly spiders of the night. I love them all, as do those who grow them. My own mother grows them and I’ve only started to collect (I have two.) Eleora and Tellias have grown orchids in their greenhouse at least a hundred years.

Like I said before, Tellias and Eleora look young. Tellias with his white blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail and Eleora with her brown waist long curls and 1950’s wiggle dress looked like just another hip young couple. They were cute and exceptionally well-behaved. I’d warned Eleora that she was not to take anyone to back rooms of the Masonic temple where the orchid show took lace. She was not to act like the Vampire she is. We were here for flowers and flowers only. We would have lunch later, with someone else.

Orchids

Tellias turned and looked at the three women I mentioned early. He took my arm.

“I know her Juliette. She was just a child, but would know her anywhere.” He let go and went to the old woman in the wheel chair.

They spoke, then hugged, then he kissed her cheek. They held hands and went to a quiet corner of the hall. The young woman, her granddaughter went with them. At first the women thought Tellias was the grandson or great grandson of someone she once knew. Then she realized that it was her parent’s old friend, the man who had given her drawing lessons during a summer at a beach house during the 1930’s when she was a child. He and his wife (Eleora) had the house next door. He’d spend a lot of time with the children, telling them fantastic stories – stories that only she knew where real. The last time she saw him she was only twelve but they recognized each other right away. She never questioned that he still looked the same because she obviously knew. Some people just know.

She had been an artist and still painted when she could. Now she said her art was her flowers. The younger women, her daughter and granddaughter were also her flowers in a way. She’d nurtured them until they both blossomed into beauties and thrived.

Eleora, in her sometimes shy way, went over and said hello as well. It was a sweet moment.

I stood back, not to make things uncomfortable. Too many Vampires can do that to people, even people who know what we are. As you know very few people do know we’re different (as in Vampires.)

My eye met the eyes of the middle-aged daughter. We both knew that bond of once being the child and now being the adult – but still in a way, always the child.

Back at the farmhouse of Tellias and Eleora we brought the new orchid plants to the greenhouse. It was a good day. A rare daytime outing for the ancient Vampires.

I thought about all of the stories I have yet to pry out of those two. I’ve yet to find the secrets of their origins and centuries of … centuries of everything they have done and seen. In the meantime I just enjoy them for the silly old Vampires they are and for their weird wisdom and the joy they bring.

And I can appreciate the way they nurtured me the way they nurture their orchids – with care and love.

Sure we’re Vampires, but sometimes we come out of the shadows and bloom and grow and remember.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Orchid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orchid Show, Sacramento 2015