Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Thoughts and The Saga of Grandma Plant

Happy Easter!!!!! Here is my picture in honor of this holiday:


I originally named this picture "Ixuvik," which is Inupiaq for grave, but Steve said this picture reminds him of the morning of the Resurrection. So, that's it's honorary title. This is a picture of the Shishmaref Cemetery. I took it last month when I was out with my ski team. I liked it because, although it's obviously a picture of a graveyard, the picture still looks happy. There's a peace and serenity in the picture, and that's how we should feel when we think of death, thanks to Christ's marvelous Atonement. The sun and light in this picture also remind me of the glory of the resurrection.

Easter is the perfect day to share with my gentle readers the Saga of Grandma Plant... My dad's mother passed away in 2004. I miss her very much, and it really bothers me that she never had a chance to meet Steve. I was blessed enough to get to be with her right before her death, but Steve didn't make that trip with me (we weren't married yet).

After Grandma died, my dad adopted her houseplants. He keeps them in his office, and they've really thrived under his care. At a family reunion last summer, Dad made cuttings available for anyone who wanted to raise Grandma Plants of their own. I was thrilled at the idea of having a living connection to the woman that I miss so dearly, so I took one.

I took care of my Grandma Plant very diligently the rest of the summer. I watered it, and put it in our window to get the most sun possible. I even talked to it (I heard that's supposed to be good for plants...). It felt really good to have something of Grandma's to take care of. It was like I was continuing what she started.

On our way back to Alaska in August, amid juggling stuffed suitcases and as many carry-ons as possible, I left Grandma Plant in my mother-in-law's car. She told me later that my father-in-law wandered around the Seattle airport for thirty minutes trying to find me and give me the plant.

I cried when I realized I left it, but my mother-in-law promised she would take good care of it. She kept her promise. Grandma Plant had a place of honor on her window sill, and she called it by name and sang to it. (Lest you think that Alston women are crazy because they talk and sing to plants, I want you to check out MythBusters episode #23 here that proves that it is entirely plausible that talking to plants helps them grow. Besides, if Alston women are in fact "crazy," it has nothing to do with the plants they talk to and everything to do with the men they married. Thank you.)

Steve and I were in Seattle for New Year's Day and, I brought the Grandma Plant to Alaska. The Nome "Airport" is kind of a misnomer. It's really a building next to a runway. They push a big staircase up next to the plane, and you walk down, across the runway and into the "airport." It was bitterly cold and super windy when we stepped off the plane. I sheltered the plant the best I could with my gloved hand, but it wasn't enough. The leaves were drooping as soon as I got into the airport.

We had to do the same walk-from-a-building-onto-the-plane-while-being-completely-exposed-
to-the-elements thing when we got on the bush plane to come to Shishmaref. I went so far as to stuff Grandma Plant under my coat, but the damage was done. Grandma Plant arrived in its new home with blackened leaves.

I was really disappointed that my connection to my grandmother was dying. I tried to nurse the plant back to health, but the leaves still withered more and more. I called my dad to see what he suggested. He told me that I could just get another cutting when I visited in the summer. I didn't want ANOTHER cutting, I wanted THIS cutting. I refused to give up. I watered it diligently and left the lights on each day so it didn't have to sit in the dark. When the sun came out again, I put it in the window for a while every day.

Finally, a new leaf sprouted! A beautiful, perfect, healthy, green shiny leaf. I rejoiced. I hugged Steve. I was grateful I hadn't thrown the plant out. The leaf is almost healthy enough to be transplanted out of the red beverage cup it came in and into the new planter I bought for it back in August.

Life came out of what was once a forsaken plant. This is a picture of the new leaf:

Grandma Plant

I think it is a perfect image to celebrate Easter. Life triumphs over death. The Grandma Plant sprouts a new leaf, and Grandma will live again.


Dorese said...

Angie, what a neat story! Thanks so much for sharing, and for your insights and testimony. I just started a blog for us this past month, and had been thinking I needed to get in touch with people like you, who I don't have on my email list, and then you added it on Facebook! Anyway, I love your pictures, and I love your witty humor, and I hope you had a wonderful Easter. Thanks again for your insights; I was touched by the story. Hope all is well!

rinalston said...

Angie, just wanted to share a peice of info on plants, you might want to wait on re-poting it, unless its roots are really good. Others wise it wont get larger (plant wise). Cause plants work on their roots first and then their leafs.

JEM said...

This is such a sweet story. I'm so glad the little guy pulled through.