Several years ago Cindi was visiting for a long December weekend; her visit was timed to coincide with one of the most fun parties I've (we've!) ever hosted. Way, cool fun. That was when I lived in the incredible, old 3rd floor apartment everyone loved visiting. On Saturday morning the Christmas parade participants lined up outside my building, as was their custom, rendering the street below pretty much unpassable for hours and hours. Never mind that...we were cleaning and cooking and steadily preparing for the night's celebrations, and so we waved to them out the window and caught up with each other's lives and didn't worry about the fact that we were more or less trapped for the day.
Trapped, that is, until Cindi decided the decor wouldn't be complete until she'd gone to buy a few extra goodies. I don't remember what it was that sent her fighting through the traffic of bands and majorettes, but she did and they let her through, too. (The alternative wouldn't have been very festive.)
When she returned a couple of hours later, she bore all kinds of exquisite purchases: a few new clothing pieces, some extra lights to string up with tulle! in this interesting way in the long hallway...and a ficus tree which also got lights. I remember quite well what she said about the ficus tree: "When you take down the decorations, just give the tree to Jan. She'll keep it alive." I beg your pardon? But Cindi had known me for a long time by then, and even though she only knew Jan through me, she also knew that this local friend was also a lover of all things planted. And of planting and nurturing those miraculous, living beings. Like her. Me? Well, I mean well, but sometimes my results are just not in line with my intentions. It's wrapped up in levels of patience, I believe.
Well, folks, I want you to know that that ficus tree really has been through a lot. I never did give it to Jan, and it took me two years to kill it. But our little story doesn't end there. That huge old apartment had a screened-in back porch and the winter I decided it was time to suck it up and say goodbye to my little tree that had seen happier (and more alive,) days, I put it out on the porch with the intention of taking it down with the trash. But you know what they say about "out of sight, out of mind," right? I saw it on occasion, but never at a convenient time to load up my arms and haul it down all those stairs to the street on "trash day," and so it never made it.
Guess what happened when the weather warmed up! No, really, guess?! Yup, that seriously dead (everyone said so, not jsut me,) tree sprouted a little green leaf. And then another. Do you know I still have that tree! And I haven't lived in that apartment in several years so by my calculations it's been at least 5 years. Surely.
Anyway, the party was fun and I love that I still have this ficus. Even though I didn't put lights on it again. Maybe next year...