I’m SO excited!
Thank you to one of my regular commenters…Peggy…who suggested I put the Christmas cactus where the light was right! After my winter cactus bloomed I put Grandma’s cactus upstairs to enjoy the same light. It does appear conditions were perfect, as I’ve been waiting a long long time to see a single bud on this thing.
Believe it or not, I first tried to grow a start from my Grandma’s BIG, GORGEOUS, CONSTANTLY BLOOMING Christmas cactus when I was in college. That was over 20 years ago! And amazing on two points as I can’t believe it took so long and I can’t believe I’ve been around so long!
To be honest, I can’t remember if this is the very first start or if the first one died and I got another from my mom. My mom doesn’t even have one going now, apparently hers died, so this is quite an achievement! Both Mom and my Aunt Sonna want starts, but I’m not touching that plant until it’s done blooming.
After all this time, keeping it in the dark in a cold room with minimal light…carefully repotting it…again and again…transporting it cautiously between states…I think what it really needed was a south-facing room and diffuse light. Grandma kept her plant – which was so prolific I could open my arms and maybe reach around half of it – in a very cold south-facing bedroom, right next to a window where the light filtered through a sheer curtain.
Here are a couple more buds:
Just little teeny ones in the center. I’ve counted maybe half a dozen buds so far, but from what I can tell, it is putting on more.
It also looks as if my winter cactus is going to bloom as well, as it also has buds!
As I was stitching those words this morning, I thought about my grandmother. She was alive when the Titanic sank. She wore her hair in 20s-style pin curls, the kind that look like waves. When she was young, she loved to run. She was such a fast runner, she could catch snakes! I’m not even kidding. Where she lived in Missouri, they had a well and when the snakes would hear someone coming, they would make a mad dash for the well. I guess they didn’t like snakes in their well water, so Grandma would run fast, snatch up the snakes, and throw them away from the well as far as she could! Grandma had an angel winged begonia, too. It was so big it was like a tree and she had its branches propped up on stakes. (I have a plant from this one, too.) One year Grandma enjoyed huge tomatoes growing outside her house that she hadn’t planted there. She had merely dumped out some veggies she hadn’t eaten one day the winter before…and, presto! A tomato plant grew. Grandma had one of the best locations for a house, in my opinion. It was probably an acre or two on the edge of town on a road that dead-ended at a creek. The creek, where all us cousins used to play as kids, had a walking bridge and across the walking bridge was/is a beautiful park. The park has a swimming pool, playground, golf course, lovely walnut trees with the best walnuts I’ve ever tasted, and the Senior Center where she used to eat lunch every day. One day, when she was 85 or 90 years old, she was about 50 feet from the door of the senior center when she spotted an old old classmate of hers. He looked at her, she looked at him, they both looked at the door, they looked back at each other…and they both made a mad dash for the door! Can you imagine??? Two 90-year-olds knocking each other over running towards the senior center just to see who could get to the door first? Yep, too funny.
Grandma lived to be 95. One of the joys of my life is I got to spend her last night on earth with her. When I arrived earlier in the day and said hello to her, she couldn’t see, she could barely talk, but she whispered to me…I’m glad you’re here. That night my Aunt Lois kept us entertained with her funny stories, and once in a while you could see Grandma shaking with the giggles. The place where she died had a cat who knew when folks were close to death and would come lay on their bed. The day she died I wasn’t there, but family later told me the cat had been laying on Grandma’s bed that morning and the moment she passed, the cat leapt from the bed, onto the window sill and looked out the window, and watched my Grandmother’s Spirit walk away…Her name was Leona.