Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Flaunting You, Loyal Plants

For this week's Flaunt it Fridays, MK let readers flaunt what they wish. I sat and thought for a moment, then my eyes fell on my curly plant. I'll flaunt my plants. The plants that have survived have been around for 5, 10, 15 years. They have weathered 5, 6 moves and multi-week dry spells as I travel to Mississippi, Portland OR, Ireland, France, and South America. I like to think that my erratic watering pattern has made them tough. Maybe that's why succulents, desert plants, are my favorite. I'd like to introduce my loyal friends. Back row, L-R: lush mother-in-law plants, spiky desert champ, effusive tendril plant, unkillable spider plants. Front row: pathetic sprout, curlicue recluse.

These spider plants are from at least 6 years ago. These might be from the babies I got from the Dunkin Donuts near my Grandma's house in Massachusetts. The hanging plants from DD were so lush, and had so many babies hanging from them, that I asked if I could have a few. I had to get permission from the manager. I may have sent one back with my sister to Texas, if I recall correctly. These are the plants I had in my classroom for years. When people would walk in, they'd say in puzzlement, "Wow! It's so bright in here!" Part of it was because my friend Heidi helped me staple cast-off wallpaper to my bulletin boards, but I feel strongly that another jolt of happiness came from the two spider plants atop a file cabinet by the windows. Working in a dirty, smelly room with linoleum floors and fluorescent lighting is hard, so you have to get energy from multiple sources: co-workers, favorite students, coffee, sun, plants, a nap on the rug during your planning period.

That reminds me of the peace lily I left in my classroom at Buford Middle, one of the less bleak schools, and truly a gem. I could write more about that later, but that student-teaching stint was one of my most wrenching, lovely, stressful, rewarding experiences ever, definitely topping the beautiful and stressful 2 weeks of nannying for a crazy family in France. When I went back to visit in February, the math teacher ran in and told me with great excitement that the peace lily had bloomed. I bet that plant is still there.

Moving on.

This spiky pot of love was given to me by an ex-boyfriend's mom, and she's since died from cancer. I think she may have also given me the tall tendrilly plant, but I'm not totally sure. I just know I love both of these plants, and it's strange yet nice to have this connection with someone who had a difficult life. I feel like I'm taking care of her by taking care of the plants.

Now for the real champ, the curlicue plant that my grandma gave me when I think I was in high school. After 7 or so years, my third year of college, out of nowhere bloomed a gorgeous red flower. I've never seen it since, so my curlicue plant must have been really happy that year. Coincidentally, that was one of the best years of my life, as I was singing, living in a house with amazing people, and rocking out with my English and French lit classes, earning a 4.0 while taking 21 credits with seemlessly no effort, because I loved everything I was doing. Come on, that's crazy.

Oh- and the two very healthy plants on the left, given to me by my mother-in-law because she had too many plants. I was advised to water them twice a month, on the first and 15th, which has worked so far. One thing that bodes well for them is that they have survived when I've forgotten to water them. I have to thank my MIL for giving some structure to my life, and my other plants are sure to benefit.

Then there's the little guy, one little sprout, clinging to life. I've considered throwing it away numerous times, but I just can't. Maybe a miracle will happen.

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