Thursday, July 11

Perseverance Paid Off

Six or seven years ago, my mom and I visited our friends Chris and Judy down in southern Oregon. We’ve been life-long friends with the mother-daughter duo since we lived in Iceland. That’s a friendship worth preserving—having spanned two continents and at times, several states. The life of a Navy family.

Anyway, at this juncture Judy and Chris were both in Canyonville, Oregon or maybe it was Roseburg. Judy won’t admit it, but she’s part gypsy. I’m pretty sure. So trying to pinpoint where they were at on any particular time is a bit taxing and would take way too long for this short blog.

Anyway, Judy had this plant that she called an Angel Wing plant. It had large wing-shaped leaves with silver spots and it produced a petite pink flower—kind of like a scentless sweet pea. I fell in love. I wanted a house plant that also flowered. 

Luckily Judy had a start going in vase and let me take it home. Once I got it home, I pampered the thing, waiting for a flower. And got nothing. Nothing except dead leaves. See, it’s a very particular plant. It likes a certain amount of sunshine and I always seem to live in the shade.

I often worried that it would just up and completely die on me. Sometimes it was no more than a trunk of sticks and I’d think, “Maybe I should just chuck it.” But I didn’t. I gave a start to my sister, Wendy, and it took off like gangbusters—basically snaking up the length of her patio door. Whenever I see it, I wonder why mine only has a few leaves and a bunch of sticks while hers looks so robust and healthy. But Wendy’s never flowered either so I began to think maybe it had been a fluke that Judy’s had flowered or that she’d mistakenly given me a different start, or you know, she had gypsy green magic going on in her little Roseburg home.

So this past spring, I moved my plants into the bonus room—the room that Jordan inhabits on her computer and watches the tv. The room that houses my desk and many bulletin boards filled with writerly inspiration. The room that has a giant picture window and no surrounding trees. And lots of morning sunshine.

Today I found this:

 A flower! It only took six years. It took perseverance and patience. And the will to see it through and imagine that it could be more than a trunk of sticks

Just like my book. See how I snuck that analogy in? But it’s there—and someday I’ll have a book and maybe even get flowers to go with it.  


  1. Yay! I used to live gardening, but now I never seem to have the time. Patience is not one of my virtues.

  2. LOL. I'm not sure it's always one of my virtues--but I hate to give up on something. Maybe it's more tenacity than patience :)

  3. Love this, both the flower and your tenacity. Makes me wonder if I should have kept trying to grow that philodendron my mom started for me over and over. :-)

  4. Liz--don't second guess :) I have a hydrangea that I moved and it never came back so I let it go. Sometimes it just isn't in the soil :)

  5. that's beautiful! So glad you didn't give up on it (or Bix or any of your other stories)!

  6. Love it!
    It took me 20 years to get a published book! Never forget that!