An annual task is to bring in the perennials. Carole doesn’t like to garden and tells me so every time she goes out to water her flower gardens. She does, however, want to brighten the neighborhood.
When the plants come in for the winter, there is always the question—where do we put these? Certain kinds of bugs will hitchhike and infest the house. Sometimes we have an issue of root rot which is a horrible smell.
The house becomes a nursery with plants hanging from ceilings and fighting for space in front of the windows. The TV is shrouded by plants. I have to lean over to see a full screen.
We probably could have waited a couple of months to bring them in. Friends have tulips emerging. I’m not sure we have had a hard freeze. Maybe it was recalled. Tulips in late December in Iowa? They are going to be confused in May.
Do you remember one of our family members paid cash money for a kitten? I’ve been thinking this cat has to be Ph.D. candidate when we could have had several free ones. This money cat is visiting us for a couple of days. Ava likes me best. She looks me in the eye and talks to me. There is something she desperately wants me to know. When I talk to her, the dog gets jealous and begins to howl like a hound dog and has her own conversation going.
Ava has presented a challenge to the nursery. She likes green stuff in her diet and playing in the flower plant dirt appears to bring her pleasure. So the plants have been moved several times. There is no shelf high enough, no screamed threat adequate.
I have an east-facing window in my office and a floor-level window to the north. I’m not a plant person, but there is something classy about having flowers-plants in my office. Ecological. Helping out the climate control people with an antidote for smog. So, like other years, I have three huge plants in the windows and stacked on tables.
I don’t do well with plants. Few have survived an entire winter in my office. I forget to water or water too much. One has already begun to turn yellow and another one has broken branches. And the million-dollar cat loves my office. This feline is a full-time snooper who runs to my chair, climbs my back with her panther length toenails to sit on my shoulder to tell me what she has discovered. I think she may have killed the plant in a porcelain cooking pan. Ava pushed it off the book shelf and was pleased with herself that it landed upside down on the carpet.
While lugging the vacuum up the stairs with the cat chasing the electric cable and talking to me on every step, I asked why I want flowers and plants in my office. Carole fights off the cold season when the plants are outside with coverings and straw. There comes a time when she says, “I think I’ll let nature take its course.” That death sentence bothers me. I tell her we’ll put the plant in my office.
I want my office to represent green and growth. What I ship from this room is sent with the intention that someone will find a growing edge expanding in them.
I don’t know if my office will be like the prophetic Israeli desert that blooms like a rose, but I want to give it every opportunity.
I attempt to give a greening gift to family members on each national holiday. I know that some of the books will not be read immediately. For Thanksgiving they each received Roger Ailes’ “You are The Message.” I pray they will keep the book long enough to connect it to their own lives.
I like to be with people who intentionally teach me, or from whom I learn just by being with them. I like to be a person who is known as a dispenser of growth ingredients. That is a good brand to aspire. Give me a minute. Carole wants me to move some plants into the attic.
© 2015 D. Dean Benton—writer & wonderer