Monday, July 29, 2013

What's making me happy this week.

I had a ton of plants when I lived in Helena.  It wasn't on purpose.  I mean, I like plants and all, but when you're in your early 20s and tend to move around a lot, the last thing you need to accumulate are heavy pots full of dirt.

And yet, I had a ton of plants.  Mostly because as friends kept coming & going, moving in & out of state, somehow their plants all wound up at my apartment.  What can I say -- I had lots of shelves and lots of windows.  It seemed the neighborly thing to do.

(Weirdly, this is one of few pictures I can find of my old apartment that shows any plants.
This was just a drop in the bucket, I swear.)

When the time came for my own move back east, I was worried that I'd have trouble finding new homes for most of my collection.  But good karma came back to me -- after taking in so many other VISTAs' frond-y friends, when I threw out an e-mail to the current crop of volunteers serving in town, several of them came over with boxes and whisked the bulk of the 'em away, where they probably eventually got passed on to even more strange new homes as those people left town.  The circle of life and all that.  The rest wound up over at my friends Emily & Kevin's house, and last I heard, when they sold that house, a lot of the plants stayed with it...

Anyway:  when I came back, there were two plants I wanted to bring with me. One was named Wendell Gee.  (Yes, named after an R.E.M. song.)  I'd gotten Wendell at Target when I was in college in Duluth during my sophomore year, and after miraculously keeping it alive for that long (including during the move out to Montana), I felt I owed it to him to get him back to his mother country.  Alas, Wendell was kind of scraggily and old by then, and the trip took a lot out of him.  He made it back to Wisconsin, but I think he finally bit the dust and had his last leaf fall off by Christmas that year.

The other plant was named Milton. Milton came to me via a styrofoam coffee cup one day during my second VISTA term; a coworker with a good sense of humor in a neighboring cubicle had taken a shine to the antics of me & my buddy Ryan and when her spider plant erupted with babies, she wanted us to have one.  "You guys are HILARIOUS.  Oh my god, don't ever grow up and leave, the office will be so boring without you."  We named it Milton and kept a red stapler nearby.

Long story short, Milton wound up at my apartment, then he wound up in my Lumina, then he wound up in Wisconsin, and he's been here ever since.

Like his namesake, he's always been kind of squat and sulky.  Hasn't grown much, even when I've made the effort to move him to sunnier/shadier spots, or into bigger pots, or gave him new dirt or fertilizer once in a while.  He's never even come close to having any babies, which has always struck me as odd since the plant he came off of was popping them out like gangbusters.  But still, he wasn't looking sickly or wilting or anything, so I figured I'd just let him be.

But then, last week:

July 27.

Poof!  Out of nowhere, that big long tendril!  With little eensy-weensy babies on the end!!  Squeal!

I don't know what set this off.  He hasn't been moved lately, hasn't been getting more sun, hasn't been getting more water...he's just a late bloomer, I guess.  Better late than never, Milton.

(I just hope he's not planning any sort of fiery revenge like his movie version.  I'll make sure not to move his desk down to the basement, just in case.)


Jamie said...

I was thinking of you today after reading this I went from one plant to 6 in the course of 2 days all given to me. Hopefully I can keep a few of them alive!

Mary said...

Ooh, plant presents!! :-) Good luck with all your new leafy friends!