Anyone Else Ever Inherit an Onion
Here’s the thing, most people inherit money, jewelry, real estate, not me, no I inherited an onion. Oh, yes I did. Now, it’s not normal to have a fear of houseplants. Or is it? Houseplants make me nervous. I mean they’re beautiful and alive and help put oxygen in the air and all that but . . . and here’s the problem—I routinely kill them. I don’t mean too. I really try to nurture them, water them, talk to them, give them sunlight and yet, they still turn brown and die. My green thumb is black and cloaked in despair. Up until now I’ve managed quite nicely with zero plants in my home. But that’s changed and I’m quite frantic.
Right now I have three plants that are making me very, very nervous. These plants I inherited after my mom, Flossie died in November. Now I know what you are thinking, so what, they’re just plants. Give them away if you can’t keep them alive—it’s not like they’re toddlers or . . . dogs. But, here’s the thing, these plants come with a legacy. That’s right a botanical legacy that reaches back into my childhood.
The first of these plants is the ONION. That’s right, the ONION. This onion has been in the family for over sixty years! My mother said she received it from a woman who told it was old then—over sixty years ago. So you see, this onion, this pregnant onion as y other called it, has been part of my life—forever. And it’s pregnant! It’s always pregnant. You see it develops these little bulges that burst and send forth another teeny, tiny onion that then drops into the soil below and hopefully takes root, grows, matures and carries on the process. To date I have no idea how many generations of onion have come from this one, original onion. But now it is in my possession and I’m scared to death it’s going to die. I promised Flossie I’d care for it. But it’s not looking too good. I look at it and worry. I water it and worry. I pull brown dead stuff off it and worry. I give it light and worry. I shield it from the light and worry. It’s extremely nerve-wracking to own an eighty year-old onion. I was wondering if some botanical museum would like it.
Along with the onion I became the proud mother of this giant Crown of Thorns plant, tree cactus thing. Now it’s not as old as the onion. But it’s just as famous. My mother ahs one several blue ribbons in plant competitions for it. And now, alas, it’s in my care. It’s making me very nervous. I’m trying to do right by it. I’ve rearranged my living room to accommodate it, so that it would receive optimal sunlight. I’ve read about it. How can you tell if a succulent is dormant? I can’t. I water it, I don’t water it. I spritz its leaves. I’ve considered installing a plant light. I know the thing enjoys distress. It is a cactus after all. A succulent. Everyday I watch another leaf turn yellow, wither and fall to the ground. It makes me said. I put my mother’s picture near it, hoping it would help. Not so much.
So there you have it. My saga of the houseplant inheritance. A couple of bucks would have been better—that I can deal with. I could really use some advice.