Oh dear! Busy busy weekend made me crave something easy & tasty. My go-to in those situations: tacos.
I kept it simple with ground turkey, homemade seasoning, and a side of what I’ll call fiesta rice: Brown rice, then stir in a tablespoon of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and salt & pepper. I then topped it off with a black bean & pepper salsa.
Since clearly this isn’t an exciting meal or one with a good story, I’ll tell you one completely unrelated to food. I’ll tell you about Bill.
Bill is my plant, and up until about 2 weeks ago he never really had a name, he was just the plant. I only had one plant so it was easy to know what I was talking about. I decided as of late, to give the plant a name, because it is dying. I figured it was the least I could do to give it a name and some dignity in its death. Especially since I don’t even know what kind of plant it is. Now, you may be thinking, whatever AT, plants die everyday, why is this special? it’s special because it’s not just a plant, it’s a very special plant that has endured and defied death and one that was coming up on it’s tenth birthday.
Bill was given to me upon entering college. During Orientation weekend, first-year women at William Smith receive a small potted plant in honor of our founder, William Smith. (see 1906 tab). Word on the street was that he had quite the green thumb so as a reminder of him and his legacy, we are each given plant, about 2 inch square in a plastic container. Dorms are not exactly conducive to greenery and most ended up on the sink counter in the bathrooms, apparently the steamy atmosphere was assumed to be a good spot. Go figure.
Most everyone on my floor had relinquished their plants to the bathroom within about two weeks. Mine soldiered on. I have no idea how. I watered it every once in awhile but didn’t so much make an effort, and it just continued to grow. I took it home for the summer, and then back to school for sophomore year. Bill had his first brush with death the following summer. I had stayed on campus as a tour guide and then returned home for 2 weeks in July for a lil’ vacation. I left Bill in my summer house, and let’s just say, 2 weeks of no water and July heat, did the lil’ guy in. I came back to the house in August to a wilted and very dead Bill.
The tale does not end there however, enter Momma Tallo to the rescue. While I was home the previous summer she and her gardening prowess had split the plant so there was a piece of Bill safe & sound in her care.
I brought that back to school junior year, and again senior year. Bill lived on at home with my Mom as I traveled to Washington D.C. for an internship post-graduation, and remained at home while I looked for a job back in Boston. Bill then came with me to Somerville, where he was the official house plant and was watered only occasionally. Still, Bill persisted.
He came with me to Beacon Hill, and when I went back to HWS for reunion last Spring, and everyone was shocked to hear that my plant was still alive.
Barely. He probably needed to be re-potted, but I never got around to it and have watched him slowly deteriorate for several months now. Things took a turn for the worst when I noticed last week that the vines were awfully fragile, and the roots looked dead. As the leaves fell off one by one, and the vines snapped off the roots until the lone one was left, I came to the sad conclusion that it was time to let Bill go. He deserved a better life than the one I was giving him.
I called my Mom to tell her the sad news that yes, the plant has died. No mas. I have not inherited her knack for pruning and probably won’t enjoy plants or gardening. Cut flowers, yes, a flowering expanse in the backyard, probably not.
If only the story ended there. When I called my Mom to tell her the sad news, she happily replied, “No no, I have another part of it!” That woman I tell ya, best mom EVER.
Bill lives on, but I think I’ll leave him in the skilled hands of my mother. What’s that people always say- something about keeping a plant alive, then a pet, and then you can move on to kids? Kids, meh, I got a few years before that happens.
I’m pretty sure this one won’t let me forget how to feed him, he’s safe.