A full moon is nothing compared to the first full day of sunshine after a winter full of sullen snowflakes to make people act crazy. The first day I looked to the heavens and felt the sunshine warm my face with magic fingers, I knew it was time to murder more houseplants.
If Christmastime is the season of Poinsettia Slaughter, then March brings Geranium Massacre Madness. Garden shops are teeming with folks loading up their carts with future victims. Satellites overhead are busy transmitting my picture to plant nurseries across the country: Armed and dangerous. Spotted with peat moss and a trowel. Before nightfall my mug shot will be hanging over the succulents at Home Depot stores everywhere.
I still have three house plant survivors from the Flora Trail of Tears that so many African Violets and Swedish Ivy cuttings have taken over the years, across my kitchen counter to the waste bin outside my back door. The road is difficult and tortuously long, but I have faith enough to keep widening the road and beginning beautification projects along its borders.
Just now I’m rubbing my hands together and gazing lovingly at two jade plants and an aloe, ripe for repotting. I think my neighbors phoned in a tip to CSI. Helicopters hover over my house. SWAT teams are rappelling down the chimney. Hostage negotiators are ringing my cell phone. “Back away from the potting soil and nobody will get hurt.”
With sunshine streaming in between the blinds, I lock the door and carefully spread newspapers across the table. Is it a bad omen that I have selected the obituary page for this project? I turn the paper over to government news. Somehow that seems more fitting for the spreading of manure.
My sons, both avid participants in Role Playing games, roll their dice to determine my luck. Hmm, Critical Fail. Yeah, but naysayers told Christopher Columbus to turn left at Nova Scotia, too. If he had listened, we wouldn’t be sucking the cream filling out of cannolis today. Sometimes you just have to stick to the North Star and make sure you have the right ratio of dirt to fertilizer.
Thirty minutes later the deed is done. I fling open the back door and announce, “The transplant was a success!”
Then I trip over the old pots on the back step and land with an overly large crash in the trash can by the door. Picking peat moss out of my hair and feeling a bruise the size of a dieffenbachia on my backside, I realize something important.
The Trail of Tears has claimed another victim.