Tuesday, September 15, 2009
All About Phil
I have a confession that will shock most of my friends. As expected, I went throuh a pretty rough time when my parents died a few years ago. I tried to pretend everything was normal, but I was pretty much a mess inside. It was around that time that I slowly and deliberately murdered all of my house plants. Weeks without food and water will do that to a plant. Not only did I murder the plants, but I left their shriveled bodies sitting around the house for several weeks. It may have been months. I truly don't remember. In any case, at some point I disposed of the bodies without so much as an ounce of guilt. Mom would be disappointed, but each plant had become a reminder of something unpleasant.
One plant was from my Grandfather's funeral. It was a huge peace lily that someone sent to our family. Every time I looked at that plant, I remembered seeing it in the funeral home. I never could get it to bloom. I even put some false blooms in the pot to shame it into blooming. That didn't work and only made the plant look sad. Still, I spent years hauling it from room to room during Winters and Summers. If you've ever owned a peace lily, you know it was wasn't an easy kill. They can go for quite a while without water, looking defeated, only to be revived at the last minute. Some of the plants were 'rescues' from stores. I would deliberately buy a small plant that was in bad shape so that I could 'nurse' it back to health. One was a fig tree, but that one committed suicide.
My once green thumb turned black. Friends at work gave me a bamboo plant for my birthday. They are supposed to be very easy to care for; all you have to do is water them. Well, it didn't last to my next birthday. I can remember Mom getting a hanging plant years ago. It was supposed to be one of the easiest plants to care for, and it lasted two days. Mom had a green thumb, so she was not happy. She never gave up with house plants though, and never deliberately murdered a plant
I have to say that I have not been tempted to buy any plants lately. So, when a friend wanted to clear a few out of her house, I was hesitant to accept. In the end, I accepted one small plant with the disclaimer that it might not make it to Christmas. It actually lost a leaf as I put it into the car and I did not take that as a good sign. Perhaps the plant was as hesitant of me as I was of it. So, I took it home and sat it in the entrance hall which is no where near direct light. It sat there for two days before I decided on where to put it.
I finally decided on the dining room window. I even gave the plant a name - Phil. Maybe having a name will keep Phil alive longer. He might even thrive. Phil is open to all possibilities, at least those that are within reach of his pot. Of course, writing about Phil and his progress will help. I certainly don't want to be caught doing something premeditated. Tomorrow I will water Phil, and somewhere Mom is smiling.