Shock and Awwww

November 12, 2014

Today’s shock came when we dumped our one and only houseplant out onto the grass. We’d decided, after ignoring it for fifteen years, having not killed it, it was probably time to repot it. Surely, after all this time, it needed some fresh soil and a little TLC.

(The plant had been a “gift” from our old favorite neighbors who left Davis around 1999, was it? No telling how long they’d had this plant before turning it over to us.)

In any case, I expected to see signs of great suffering, something horrific and moldy. At the very least, I expected the thing would be severely root-bound.

It was not.

The soil was rich-looking, light, not packed at all, and seemed healthy. Weird.

And this was all we had for roots:


See? No twisted, gnarly, intractable rootball. At least fifteen years in the same soil, only occasionally watered.. and still just a delicate, airy fairy network–if you can call it that–of roots.

I am not a plant expert, but isn’t that weird? I’m not kidding when I say we ignore this plant. Seriously, I water it when I can remember, maybe once a month, and that’s it. Kind of bordering on plant abuse.

It had, somehow, over the decade and a half, lost half its soil (Frances said over time, soil gets packed through waterings and whatnot, though this soil was, as I said, light and very unpacked).  We added dirt, settled the plant in, removed a few brown leaves, and watered it. Presto: happy, cozy, well-loved plant.


Is this the point in the story when things turn tragic?  Now that we’ve finally paid attention to the plant after years of indifference, will it wither and perish?

Will keep you posted.

PS. What I should have written about today–an even BIGGER deal than repotting our one houseplant–was our meeting with an attorney in order to set up a living trust. At long, long, LONG last. It finally seemed time to deal with all those pesky money and end-of-life details… trusts, wills, powers of attorney, advance directives, who gets what/when.

But I figured that’d be boring and uninteresting.

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