Sunday, February 2, 2014

bring spring (please)

It’s snowing again.  UGH!!!  This has been one wooly winter, for sure, the worst I can remember in years.  Yesterday was a beautiful day – it got up to 64 degrees.  Most of the snow melted.  Someone and I took Gracie out for a long hike at Greenbo Lake.  Actually, once I stepped outside into the sunshine, I considered loading up my kayak instead.  But, Gracie had already heard the magic word (walk) and she had her collar and leash on.  With all that tail wagging and eager anticipation in her eyes, the day was all about her.  It’s a good thing – the lake was frozen over still.  Someone let Gracie walk out on the ice where the lake is shallow.  She likes to eat ice cubes, but was not too interested in staying long on the ice.

So, I have to give you an update on my yucca trees.  Yes, that’s trees, plural.  The stick took root and is growing splendidly among the spider plants.  Now we have two yuccas.  The poinsettia finally died, which is OK.  My angel wing begonia also bit the dust, that is not OK, but it was no surprise.  It was attacked by aphids in the fall.  I exterminated them as soon as they caught my attention, but the plant never really recovered.

Two yuccas from one

I don’t have a green thumb, even though some people say I do.  I love plants, but they get neglected and that’s just a sad existential fact for them.  They usually have to droop, wilt, or drop leaves excessively before I take notice that something is awry.  But I do talk to them telepathically whenever I tend to them.  I’m pretty sure plants don’t like human sound waves invading their space, nor do they like dust accumulating on their leaves.
My great grandmother (father’s father’s mother) could grow anything.  I mean that literally – anything, and everything.  She lived in a tiny house built just for her in my grandfather’s sister’s back yard.  Just months before my grandfather died, he told me some stories about his parents.  His mother had a very hard life – I hope there is a heaven and she’s in it.

My great grandmother (father's side)

So anyway, my great grandmother had this teeny, tiny house with a gigantic enclosed porch on the back.  It was her greenhouse, but not like a commercial greenhouse.  There was no scientific control of humidity or temperature.  She opened windows to various heights to influence temperature and air circulation.  I loved to visit and explore her porch.  There were shelves built with boards on cinderblocks, and pots of all sizes.  Everywhere!!  She had plants growing out of coffee cans and soup cans too.  You could hardly walk through them all, so many, with vines crawling up the walls and across the ceiling in some places.  She had all the ordinary house plants, but also exotic things (well, exotic to me) like lemon trees, orange trees, grapefruit trees, orchids, and bushes with flowers that I didn’t know what they were.

So, my great grandmother was hard of hearing, but it was good.  I didn’t like to talk and she couldn’t hear well, so she just talked and I listened (sometimes) while she worked in her plants.  I can still remember the dank smell of wet dirt on her porch, and the spider webs in most of the window frames. 

The last time I saw my great grandmother alive, I was in high school.  We had gone for a visit because she had suffered a stroke and was recovering, but still unable to do anything for herself.  Just weeks before this happened, she had mailed me a birthday card with some money in it.  I walked over to her bed, her eyes were closed so I didn’t know if she was awake or asleep.  Most people shouted when they spoke to her, but it didn’t seem appropriate to shout with her laying there in bed.  With a low voice, I thanked her for my birthday card.  There was no reaction; I thought she didn’t hear.  As I turned to leave, her eyes opened, she looked at me, and she said, “Honey, you’re as welcome as the flowers in May.”  It’s something I’ll never forget.        


Sarah said...

This might be my favorite post you've written, I want more stories like this!

KYLady said...

Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.