Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Can we talk about plants?  It appears there are two kinds of people in this world:  those who are good with plants - and those who tend to kill them.

I am part of the latter group.

I don´t pretend to understand this.  I water, I fertilize, I look for proper amounts of sun & shade. (I draw the line at talking or singing to them.)  Somehow, those little suckers defy me every time.  They die off faster than flies on an electric zapper.

Since flowers and plants are high on the ¨gift list¨ for the ill, we have received quite a number of lovely things over the last few months.  Don´t get me wrong, I ADORE plants & flowers.  I LOVE their color, their smell & their life and I have totally enjoyed everything that everyone has brought.  But I break out in a sweat when someone appears with a plant, ¨Because it will last you longer than cut flowers.¨    Not in my house it won´t!

Among my varying responsibilities since Jenna´s diagnosis, caring for these plants & flowers has fallen to me.  Why does God punish me like this?  I do the best I can, but I am slowly killing off these beauties one by one.

It might be ok if people gave us hearty, tough-to-kill plants.  But, no.  Ironically, we seem to receive one of the most delicate plants in the world to care for: orchids.   If you want to give me a plant, do me a favor and give me a fake one!  But NO.  Not only do we get plants.  We get orchids.

I have killed 4 orchids so far.  

I knew I was in trouble with the first one.  The two friends who brought it to Jenna said a bit apologetically, ¨It takes some special care.¨ What does that mean?!  When they came for their second visit, I had to confess to its murder.  They laughingly said the sales lady talked so long about how to take care of it they thought you had to have an MA in Orchids to own one.  Apparently they were right!

In my defense, it has been a tough year with plenty of distractions & other priorities.  When Jenna´s in the hospital it is impossible to keep up with everything.  I can certainly handle ¨Water twice a week.¨ or ¨Give plenty of sun.¨ But ¨Wipe any telltale dust off its leaves delicately with a Q-tip.¨ is quite definitely out of my league.  Especially when there is a lot going on in my life.  If the learning curve for a plant is too steep, it´s only a matter of time ´til it´s pronounced dead at our house.

The annoying thing about orchids at my house is that they´ve lost all their pretty flowers but they still have green leaves.  So we hang on to them.  I read that it can take up to 5 years for an orchid to bloom!    That is entirely too slow for my floral patience scale.  When cut flowers are dead, they get ugly & stink.  You don´t feel bad about throwing them out.  You can have respect for flowers like that.  But these orchids are just hanging on flowerless...haunting me and and taunting my abilities (or lack thereof).  Sometimes we stick some other things with color in them (hearts on a stick, jewels, fake blossoms) to kind of cover up my crime but it´s only a matter of time ´til I´m discovered.

Please, people.  Do any sick friends you have a favor - before you bring them a plant, ask them if they have a green thumb.  Otherwise, stick to fake flowers, cut flowers, or better yet, everyone´s favorite - chocolate!

SPECIAL NOTE:  To the precious friends who have with love & no small effort blessed us with orchids, please be sure that your gesture goes on in my heart...it´s just that your flowers have not gone on in this life.  Please forgive me!!!!

P.S.  A couple weeks later a friend gave me this fake orchid!!  It´s PERFECTA, Ginny!! hahaha


  1. I can totally agree with you and plants. The only place that is "green" with me is behind the ears!! I've told people I can even kill fake flowers. Let me share a funny with you. When I was much younger I made fake fur flowers that were in vogue for just a short season. I made my mom a bouquet of them and she enjoyed then. When my sisters downsized Mom's things, they told her that those flowers had to go. So she reluctantly agreed and my sisters sneaked them home and when I turned 60, they made arrangements at a tea place to have those flowers as our centerpiece. I was 60 and "didn't get it!" that those were mom's flowers. I even asked the waitress whether we could have a different table because those flowers just didn't look like a celebration! She said she thought the table was special and wouldn't change the centerpiece or table for us. My sisters just laughed so hard and all through the meal they asked different things about those flowers. I told them I had some just like that at home and didn't need to go to a restaurant to see ugly flowers. So when we were ready to leave the waitress came and asked whether I wanted to take the flowers home since we had enjoyed them so much!! I said "NO" and I believe she was worried she would have to keep them!! Then my sisters told me to take them because they were mine!! I was so embarrassed that I hadn't caught on for the whole meal! So even fake flowers have their weaknesses and many laughs.

    I enjoy your blogs. They are an inspiration to me and I ache for you and your family. Some things are just so hard to understand. And you are in such a circumstance. My prayers and tears are with you and your family. May God seem real to you today.

  2. Joan, you are hilarious! Thanks for taking time to share this! Thanks for tracking with us & praying.
    our love to you and Ken