There’s a saying: On the Horn’s of Dilemma. I know there are others out there. I’d rather not collect these things here on the blog – I know, I know. I usually call them home-isms or other things and use them anyway.
Today I’m trying to avoid the “I’ve got a problem” things. But, I have a problem. And yes, I’ll tell you about it.
It’s one of my winter garden plants.
What’s a winter garden? Well, it is a multitude of indoor plants I try to keep alive and thriving year round (I’m about to loose an orchid, which is one part of the problem I’m about to dump (on you)). Anyhow, besides keeping the winter blahs away with their green color and my enjoyment of the textures of the plants and what not during the dark days, I get to fret over the damn things.
That’s true. It’s a matter of pride I’ve had an Alavera plant for sixteen years; a hanging plant for twelve; a couple of cacti for eight and ten. Years, that is.
A couple of years ago I got a funny plant I know not the name of, but which Housekeeper advised against purchasing.
It will, she said, take over the house. It will grow runners and keep growing runners – and, she assured me, it will invite insects and tiny mites. All upon these twenty foot runners she said would appear – everywhere.
Mulling the situation, I finally decided to purchase the plant because looking at them in the shop from which one acquires such plants, I saw little to frighten me with them. The shop keepers, I found, coil the runners round and round a central stake and the plant looks full and beautiful. Especially just after they water them by poring the water over the leaves.
I brought the plant home and set it upon one of the kitchen chairs opposite the windows letting sunlight into the front room. The chair happened to be one of the kitchen table chairs. I only have two of those. The plant has one of them. The other one I keep in the bedroom. The flashlight has that one. The flashlight shares the chair at night with my clothes. The flashlight is on the bottom. That way, if something happens I dress first, investigate second. Which only seems sane. I’ve only gone outside once during a period of trouble arriving in the night without this arrangement. Springing from bed, as it were, directly to the outside door, flinging it open to find my neighbor lady seeking assistance with her husband, and I, remembering too late that I’d answered the door as I slept. Nude.
Ah, the picture. The husband died that night at the hospital of a heart attack and the lady three months later of cancer – and perhaps, the will to die.
But, I’m talking about that plant. The one that spreads. The one that Housekeeper eyes each and every visit. The one, three months after my bringing it home, Housekeeper asked for a clipping from as all her house plants had expired. The one which she took home and now compares the growth of against its parent plant gracing my living room. Gracing being a modification and kind word for having taken over the . . my front room.
You see, I made a mistake. I unwrapped the strands from the central stake. I strung twine (attractive, to be sure) across the wall, in front of which the kitchen chair holds the plant and the plant grew, and grew, and is growing. It has climbed over the radio, over the television (ten feet away), over the coffee table upon with the television rests, it droops from the twine and I put up the end and it droops some more. I droops everywhere.
And Housekeeper eyes the plant and tells me she cannot vacuum the floor in certain areas because “That Plant” is there. “There” happens to be in the sunny spot directly opposite the front door and is what one first sees entering, unless I stand like a suspicious,challenging fisher wife protecting a wayward husband or child.
I put up a second twine and am now in the process of acquiring loops and droops. More loops and more droops.
My orchid occupied a position the runner plant took over. I would continually separate the two, and stretch the runners around the orchid.
The orchid as also directly over the central heat register for that wall. The orchid began looking very puny. I moved it to a less sunny place and down upon the floor and began ignoring the runner plant. Then I noticed a ten foot runner creeping up my television was looking puny in the middle. Both ends looked alright. But, right there over the register was looking bad.
I mulled the question. Should I cut it off? It’s a pretty plant.
Then Housekeeper showed up.
Toward the end of her visit we discussed my problem with the runner plant. She looked at it. She didn’t know what was going on with it. I told her I thought I might cut that runner off. She said she didn’t know.
I went over to the runner and tried to tear the stem toward the plant side and couldn’t. I went to the area in which Housekeeper was working and rummaged in a desk drawer and found a knife. Housekeeper asked me what I going to do and I told her I was going to cut that runner off.
“Whack it off?” she asks.
“Yeah. I’m going to whack it off.”
Suiting words to action, I cut off the offending appendage.
“You whacked it off!” Housekeeper exclaimed.
“Yeah. I whacked it off.”
Holding out the trash bag she was holding, she said, perfectly straight faced; “You wacked it off.”
Coiling the runner, I dropped it in the bag and muttered: “If you don’t quit that, you’ll go blind.”
And looked up in time to catch Housekeeper grinning.
If you grin, you’re in.
From the reaches,