What a silly little thing to even write about. I have been giving this way too much thought. I have this ficus plant that surprisingly has been with me since I moved to LA in 1999. (I say surprisingly because most of the plants from my early gardening days did not live long.) It used to sit in a little pot on my fireplace mantle in my old apartment. Then it moved with us to the condo, and lives on the patio outside. Once in awhile, it gets mad at me and drops a bunch of its leaves. But they grow back. I think I have repotted it twice, ever, in its 10 year history here. The second time was about 2 months ago.
Right after I repotted it, it got a second wind and shot up a few inches and developed new green shoots everywhere. It was very happy to be in its new pot. I had given my dad an agave plant which also used to live happily on my patio, until it reached 5 feet tall and it became clear that I would have to either buy a giant pot and a lot more soil and really way more patio real estate than it deserved, or else it would probably become root-bound and wither away. He took it and put it in the ground near his pool filter. It is doing okay there. Maybe it doesn't get as much water as I would have treated it to, and the edges are a bit brown but it's still alive. And definitely not root-bound.
Dad mentioned he was looking for a tree or bush to plant, and I thought of giving him the ficus because I have seen them planted in the dirt around here as bushes or trees and they seem to do really well. I'm guessing from the sudden growth spurt, that this plant will just grow grow grow to the limits of whatever container its in and will become a tall tree if no container. Anyway, I mentioned to him that he might want to take this plant.
Later, however, I saw the dead Christmas tree he got from me, the living tree which we bought in a pot from Home Depot, and gave him afterwards, which he'd said he would plant in his yard and which is now a nice shade of brownish orange. Turns out he redefined "yard" to include the 1/2 acre in the hill behind the house, which is natural chapparel (we call it "the scruff"). He planted it past the sprinkler system and I'm guessing, forgot to water it. They live in a desert climate in San Diego. The funny thing about this is my brother warned me to tell him to plant it "anywhere but where you planted that other Christmas tree from a few years ago that died". But I guess, dad had the hole already from where the last tree was planted. And he figured he would give it another shot....
Anyway, Dad mentioned recently that he really was looking forward to planting the ficus tree and that he has "just the spot for it". Can you guess where? Yes, on the hill.
The thing is, I really love my dad. Some people get screwed up for life because their parents abandon them or abuse them or otherwise do a bad job. My dad is just a billion times the opposite of that. But not just by the standard of "not a shitty father like some people get". Even if he was just a friend of mine, he'd still be one of my best friends. My whole life whenever I needed him, I could call him at any time and he would always talk and make me feel like I was the President on the line. Whoever else was with him would have to wait while he talked to me. And actually, it's still like that today for me AND the Pip. I talk to my parents on the phone more than any of my friends (my mom is great too but this post is about Daddles) and I walk to him on the phone at least twice a day on the days when he's not staying here. (And maybe even more on those days-- "what time are you coming home? can you stop and get some milk?")
And my dad, for everything he has given me, really does not ask for much in return. So now he wants this ficus plant. Which my brother, my mom and I all predict he is going to kill. And a plant which I suddenly realized, much like Lauren getting a case of the "mine's" when another kid plays with her toys, that I really like. Yet I am still going to give it to him. Because right now when I look at it, all I can think about is how my dad wants it too and I want him to be happy. Small sacrifice in the scheme of life. But I may take a clipping first. ;)
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