When I was a little kid, we moved from Indiana to Florida when I was in the 3rd grade. I remember living in a slew of places before we settled in the house I lived in for the longest period I can remember - in Kissimmee. In the early 80's, it was a HUGE house (small for today), and I remember, it had an incredible 'Florida Room' - a screened in porch off our dining room. We had a table out there, and ate many dinners there in the 8 years on Flag Drive.
Anyway - no matter where we lived, my Mom (when my folks were married and for many years after their divorce) had a GAGGLE of plants. Maybe it was the Florida thing - I don't know...but she always had tons of green, leafy, live plants. Especially in the house on Flag Drive. Our Florida room was FILLED with them. She took immaculate care of them.
As always with adulthood, you're only thankful for the things of your childhood once you're grown. I remember those plants making my home so full of life - and so welcoming, every single day of my life. Once we settled in Florida, my maternal grandmother, Nana, came for a visit - once, sometimes twice - a year. Inevitably, the first thing she did every time she walked in the door from the flight, was to circle the house, inspect the plants....pull off the dead leaves and water them. It was something I never even took notice of - other than the fact that Nana always had dead leaves in her hands....and was just as into (if not more) plants as Mom was.
This Friday is my Mom's 61st birthday - and on February 27th, it will be a year since Nana passed away. Mom, Seb and I feel like we've lived a lifetime of memories since she went Home - and Mom and I talk about her, daily. Seb and I decided we'd love to see Mom for her birthday, so she got a ticket and flew out to California. She's with me 3 days, and with Sebby & Kayla for 4.
I picked her up from San Jose this afternoon - we had a late lunch/early dinner with my girlfriend, Heather, and her Mom & Granny (who are visiting from Mississippi).
After we ate, we drove the 90 minutes south to Monterey. Mom walked into my house, petted Chester and then....
...tended to the plants.
Mom, Nana and Me - March 2006
(the last time I saw her)
Toma's Favorite Song Today: "A Million Dreams Ago" by Glenn Miller (for Nana)