Remember the potted lemon tree that Doris sent to us?
The tropical plant?
That needs eight hours of sun a day and can't have the temperature be lower than 70?
The plant that needs to live someplace like Florida? And not in the frozen north where Primo and I live? The place Doris knew that we lived because she had been here?
In the winter, there is not one single spot in our house that gets eight hours of sun. I think there is not even a spot outside of the house that gets eight hours of sun. We are in a place where winter is long, cold, and very, very dark.
(Primo and I were talking about retirement, something that we both hope can happen someday and for which we will eventually need to plan. He asked where I wanted to be when we are 70 and I said, Not here. I don't even want to be here now. I want to be someplace where I can go outside year round and not have to be cold. I want to go someplace where that darn plant would have thrived.)
Doris blessherheart maysherestinpeace sent us a tropical plant for our house.
1. You guys, I feel bad speaking ill of the dead, but Doris does hold a lot of the blame here - she is the one who wrote a letter to me telling me I would have to suck it up and earn her love and approval. All she had to do was to be nice to me and I would have bent over backwards for her, especially considering how mean Sly was to her, but I guess she wanted someone she could beat up on - someone lower in the hierarchy than she was.
2. There was not one single houseplant in our house when they came for our wedding. Maybe instead of thinking, Hmm. Here is a person who hates houseplants, Doris thought, No houseplants? I can fix that! In which case I have to say that was a generous impulse.
3. Tropical, high-maintenance plant. For a non-tropical environment. Really?
For what - six? five? years I have watered that darn plant and put it outside in the summer and tried to keep it warm in the winter. We do not keep our house at 70 degrees in the winter because we are not made of money. Our house stays a lot colder than that (have I mentioned I was tricked into moving here?) and we wear a lot of clothes at once and I keep a nice layer of fat on me for warmth.
I have coddled that darn plant - which I never wanted - and have wished it dead.
Primo came home from his trip. He looked at the straggly, almost-leafless lemon tree.
"Now that my mother is dead," he said, "I think it is safe to throw this plant away."
Which shocked the heck out of me and to quote my friend Ray Daniel, the author, "and the devil put on a sweater."
I had the sense to keep my mouth shut. (For once.)
And now the tree is gone. As it should be. Rest in peace, potted Meyer lemon tree that never should have been here.