orchids for poppa

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birthday orchid


i’ll be the first one to admit it -i have a brown thumb. succulents don’t even stand a chance around me and they only need to be watered like once a month (right?). and this is why i can’t have nice things.

but despite my clear disregard for proper horticulture, i do love flowers. i mean, what girl doesn’t? (clears throat) and if anyone special out there is reading this, my favorites are tulips, peonies, sweet peas, and hydrangeas. (clearly, i’m better equipped to keep them alive when they come pre-cut and arranged in a vase with a pretty ribbon around them).

but there’s one flower i’d be willing to grow a green thumb for. or in the very least, spray paint my brown one. and that would be the majestic orchid. because orchids, among many things like pints of old-fashioned vanilla ice cream, peppermint trident gum, and jelly beans -remind me of my late grandfather.

ever since i can remember, my grandpa was orchid obsessed. his and my grandmother’s backyard was like a mini orchid nursery -with rows and rows of black pots lining the sides of the house, each boasting the most gorgeous blooms. while he had a few epidendrum plants, his heart always belonged to his collection of striking cymbidiums. nearly every visit, he’d send us home with a bunch of freshly cut stems wrapped in a damp paper towel and again beneath a piece of aluminum foil. we’d always have our choice -pink or yellow. i’ll let you figure out which color i went for.

after he passed away, i wondered what would happen to his prized posies. there were far too many for my grandmother to care for, but with my brown thumb, i knew i’d never trust myself with the job. so my parents took a few pots down to their house for safe keeping and my aunt made weekly trips up to my grandma’s house to tend to the rest. and eight and a half years later, i’m happy to report that his memory lives on in the life of his orchids (among many other things).

i was gifted an orchid plant earlier this week from my membership chairman. it was sort of a “thanks-for-a-great-first-half-of-the-year-slash-happy-belated-birthday” kind of thing. though it wasn’t the exact species of orchid that my grandfather was known for (it’s a phalaenopsis and the most gorgeous deep fuchsia color), the fact that it was an orchid and therefore, an immediate reminder of him, was such a welcomed blessing. obviously i had never told my chairman of the correlation between the exotic plant and my beloved late poppa, but the happy happenstance of it all almost made it more special.

so now in addition to the photo collage i have nestled in my office bookshelf, i have another piece of grandpa to keep me company during the 9-5 grind.

and while i’m not making any promises, i’m going to try as best i can to keep this baby alive. thankfully the “care for” tag recommends watering every seven days. and that, i think i can manage.

miss you poppa.

1 Comment
  • Aunt Teresa
    June 18, 2014

    That is a very nice memory-story. The orchid is beautiful. (Hint: plants in the orchid family are pretty forgiving. If it begins to struggle, you can always take it to your mom’s; they certainly have green thumbs.) Have a wonderful Wednesday.

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