The Houseplants

We were halfway through packing up the house when I walked through my kitchen and stopped, staring my four potted houseplants.  Two thoughts flickered through my head.  One, that I could put these in the trailer to go to BC, where they’d sit by themselves for two months and be dead when I got there.  Two, that I could take them to my mother-in-law’s for the summer and then attempt to keep them in one piece in the Jeep (along with all our other stuff) on the drive out to BC later.  Neither sounded like a great idea.

I thought about them as I hauled a few more things out of the house.  Our other moves had been short enough (four hours, seven hours) that the houseplants just got put in a safe place in the vehicle and then settled into their new home.  With each move, it took a few weeks (even months) to find the best place in the house for the plants.  It seemed that just as I found the perfect window for them and gotten them healthy and growing well, we’d move again.

I finally asked my uncle if his girlfriend would like some houseplants.  It would be easier to move them twenty minutes away to his farm than to take them to BC with us.  Perhaps they would survive that move!  I gave him the three biggest plants, and kept one small one (which my hubby gave me for Mother’s Day one year) for myself.  As I gave them away, I found myself remembering…

The prayer plant came from my mother-in-law when she was downsizing for one move.  It went up north and back with us.  I loved watching the way its leaves folded up each night and down each morning.  At one point, I thought I had lost it; all the leaves turned brown and drooped off.  I kept watering it, but I was about to give up on it when one day, a new shoot appeared.  One little leaf.  Soon there were three and then a big huge plant again.

The spider plant also came from my mother-in-law.  Her plant was giving off baby spiders and I asked her for one when they were ready.  It took it quite a while to take root in its new pot, but then it began growing like crazy.  It was one of my healthiest plants and I was quite proud of it.

The last plant I gave away was an aloe vera, which I got from friends up north.  I had burned my hand by pouring hot coffee over it during the fellowship time after Mass.  We then went out to their place for lunch and I kept asking for ice cubes for my burn.  Finally, the wife suggested her aloe vera plant, as she’d heard it helped burns.  We sliced a leaf in half, stuck it to my burn with a bandaid, and the stinging went away.  They gave me the whole plant, in case I needed more leaves.  Again, it almost seemed like it was going to die after our move, and then came back again.

Plants are hardy, I’ve decided.  I am certainly no green thumb—I take after my mother in that respect.  I love houseplants but struggle to keep them alive (much to my hubby’s chagrin).  I’ve felt bad in the past for not being able to keep alive the plants that my husband gives me, and so the fact that the little plant I’ve kept with me is not only still alive but doing well makes me happy.  It even flowers on occasion.

I’ll find more houseplants in BC, I’m sure, or maybe I’ll put a planter on the patio (I do better with outdoor plants—somehow they are easier to take care of).  But I’ll remember these plants and hope that I made the best choice for them.

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