Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

heirloom cactus

I grew up in Massachusetts, right next door to my paternal grandparents.  I was especially close to my grandmother.  One of my favorite memories is of running down the gravel driveway on Sunday nights to watch the next episode of Masterpiece Theatre.  It was a ritual, we sat through the whole show (there were no commercial interruptions) before we could compare notes!  I also loved her pot roast, playing dominoes on her enameled top table in the kitchen (clink, plunk on the metal), helping her take baskets of flowers from her own spectacular perennial beds down to the cemetery on "Remembrance Day".  Because her father had been a dentist, she asked my brothers and I to "show me your teeth" after we had been to see our own dentist! She was a high school teacher, and I see bits of her in our son, Stewart, who teaches high school too. I miss her to this day.

My Grammie Lowry's amazing green thumb lives on in our dining room.  For years she had an enormous Christmas cactus growing in a south facing window.  One day, when she was very old, I was visiting from Chicago and asked her if I could have a snip off the end of the cactus.  We wrapped it in a wet paper towel, then plastic wrap and I stowed it in my luggage.  When I got home, I rooted it and planted it in a tiny pot (this is beginning to sound a bit like Gary Gingko, eh?).  It grew and grew and came with us when we moved to CT.  You can see from the pics I took today, it would make my Gram proud.  I've snipped a few bits off the end of this beauty and passed them along as gifts, too.  


  1. What a wonderful grandmother, and to have her living next door was a real treasure. Your Christmas cactus is gorgeous and a sweet reminder of her. I have one that's almost as old but much much smaller...poor thing has been very potbound its whole life.

  2. Christmas cacti are a wonderful heirloom plant. I have 3 large ones now that started from a cutting from my mother-in-law's, which she started from her mother-in-law's plant. Someday I hope to pass these plants on to bloom in my children's homes. Karen, I am enjoying keeping up with you daily on your blog.

  3. I have a Christmas cactus that belonged to my mom, who died in '07. When it blooms, I really feel like she is right hear with me, enjoying its beauty.