This post inspired by Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge. The topic this week: Looks Like a Face
A grill with a sense of humor?
Back in the days of home ownership, we left our gas grill out on the side deck all year. Covered up. It was too big and cumbersome to lug down 4 stairs en route to storage in the garage.
So, why not use it year round?
Winter arrived. Every year…bringing snow and more snow. Burying the deck. Including the grill.
Just needed to shovel a path. Clear away the snow. Bundle up. Grab a flashlight. Move fast. Hope the gas hadn’t run out. Grilling hamburgers one New Year’s eve comes to mind. Much to the surprise of our visiting guests.
Only steps from the kitchen door, the grill was also my route to avoid using the broiler pan. And the resulting greasy, crusty mess. Including scrubbing out all those slats. Never a popular chore…especially for my teenage son who was often recruited for the task.
One snowy January day, this is what greeted me when I opened the side door…
…either mocking me…or offering a friendly greeting.
Apparently this rock trio by the river – most likely chunks of granite – sat still long enough for nearby vines to crawl all over them. Clinging to the rough surface of one…then two…then three…before exiting onto the fallen leaves.
The day-after scene from one of many memorable snowstorms.
Before the white turns gray…
…then black…as it morphs into slush.
Snow banks everywhere.
Courtesy of city plows and resident snow blowing and shoveling.
It is cold…
And rainy (yes rainy).
Snow covered ground outside my window.
Clouds. Gray sky.
A black and white day.
Recipe for gloom.
Except for my…
The miracle plant. Back from the dead.
The phoenix rising.
My first – and only – Christmas cactus.
I brought her (I’ve decided she is female) home 20 years ago. A Christmas gift from a patient who faithfully arrived weekly for weight checks and diet advice. My former job in my former life.
Ms. Cactus hid her true glory for years. Alternately near death…yellowed leaves withering and dropping off onto the living room floor. To be sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. Or mashed in the carpet by a teenager clomping across the room.
Even though nutrition was the centerpiece of my professional career, I often overlooked…plant food…on a regular basis. Perhaps because I was otherwise occupied with a job, kids, house and such. Feeding the family…remembered that.
For years she just sat there getting dusty – sprouting no buds – no matter what I did. Houseplant books never agreed. The internet couldn’t decide either. I pruned. I overwatered. A branch broke off. I under watered. Changed locations: bookshelf…garden window…coffee table…side table…. No luck. No color.
Maybe because it’s a cactus…which would imply it is meant to somehow grow and thrive in the desert…explains why it hung on.
And then we moved.
My cactus flowered somewhat at our beach rental 2 years ago, crammed in the corner of the tiny living room.
And then nothing.
Last year, a few blooms randomly appeared.
Now…right in the middle of January…when I needed it most…Ms. Cactus exploded in color. And has rightfully earned a place of honor on the kitchen table (when not posing for pictures).
One happy plant. Looking pretty good for the old age of twenty.
Downsizing to this condo apparently was just what she needed.