When It’s Time to Go, It’s Time

We sometimes hear about people who are determined to stay alive a little longer, despite circumstances that threaten their health and well being. And we also hear about people who feel so hopeless about their current situation that they would welcome death. Some of them consider committing suicide, and some actually do it.

Please relax. This blog post isn’t about the life and death of human beings. Or of animals, either.

In fact, it probably won’t disturb you at all, no matter how sympathetic you might be.

1.
Almost three years ago, I posted an article about my favorite houseplant, a ZZ plant. It looked gorgeous then.

If you’ve been with me that long, perhaps you recognize the picture.

Some months ago, that pot-bound beauty was starting to lose leaves right and left. But only on certain stems. So Kathleen and I decided to get rid of the nasty parts and re-pot the rest. We divided it and put it in two separate pots.

We put the fuller one in the bathroom. Uh, the outer part of the bathroom–on the ledge surrounding the appropriately labeled garden tub. It’s still looking great, as you can see here.

The other ZZ plant looks pretty lonely in that big pot; I question whether we shouldn’t have used a smaller one. Nonetheless, after a month or two, one stem began losing leaves. We eventually cut that stem off. What remains of that plant seems healthy enough, but I keep a close watch on it.

Laugh if you must, but it’s difficult keeping myself from praying for its survival.

2.
Not long after buying our mobile home, I planted a small pyracantha bush. “Bush” is actually a bit of a misnomer; over the last seventeen years it has grown taller than our home (the picture below doesn’t do its size justice). Keeping it from taking over the front porch has been a challenge, but watching robins and mockingbirds use it for their nests has been wonderful. Despite a less-than-pleasant odor, the blooms are pretty, too. So are the berries.

    

This tree has meant a lot to me because it’s been in the yard almost as long as I’ve lived here.

As much as I love snow, it’s no respecter of pyracantha. Especially when coupled with ice. Our most recent snow storm left the pyracantha hopelessly split in a couple of places. Even if I could successfully trim it to get rid of the nearly-detached branches, it would never look the same again. (Only the part leaning to the right would be left.)

My wife has complained (mostly nicely) from time to time about the way the pyracantha has taken over the porch and blocked the way to the shed; this morning she pointed out that I should’ve planted it a foot or two further from the porch. Hindsight is wonderful. isn’t it?

We’ve pretty much decided to make the sacrifice and get rid of the pyracantha. A crape myrtle should be much more satisfactory.

Conclusion:
How do I feel about the probable loss of the pyracantha and the possible eventual loss of a ZZ plant?

Yes, I feel a little sad. But I suppose plants and trees are like human beings. They have a limited life span. And when it’s time for them to go, they go.

I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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