Sunday, November 21, 2010

Curly AKA The Little Seed That Could

Who is Curly you ask? Curly is our family avocado plant. He's also our family symbol of overcoming adversity. I had planned on exporting the initial story I had written about him along with the updates I'd posted over the years he's been with us. Unfortunately, they were apparently deleted.

So I'll try to give you a brief synopsis of his short but challenging life. No, actually I won't even try to make it short because there's just no way to do that and tell his story effectively. So if you have a desire to learn about Curly either settle in or bookmark this page so you can break it into installments.

I think it was almost 4 years ago that curly came into my life. He was nothing but an avocado seed back then - the leftovers from some raw dish I had made - I think it was probably chocolate mousse. On a whim I decided to see if I could grow him into an avocado tree.

I did some reasearch and discovered that you're supposed to use toothpicks to hold the avocado out of the water. I didn't have any toothpicks on hand. Being the roll with the punches kind-o-gal I am I tossed him a small glass which I fill halfway with water and sat on the kitchen window-sill.

Against all odds and despite the cold New England window environment and being tossed in cup that I sometimes remembered to add water to and sometimes didn't - he began to sprout! I remember proudly showing off his sprout to my family who rolled their eyes and dismissed him as one of "mom's weird experiments."

By that time it was Christmas and we were doing tons of cooking and my family was in and out of the kitchen and at some point someone must have knocked over Curly's cup without realizing it. I found him tucked into the corner when I was mopping the floor. Poor guy's sprout was totally dried up.

Most people would have tossed him in the trash and thought not another thing about it BUT not me! I washed his glass, tossed him back in and put in the amount of water he had grown used to. Nothing happened for ages but for some reason I kept watering him. Then believe it or not I noticed he was again sending out what looked like a sprout. I kid you not that this "sprout" emerged during that holiday season almost a year after he had been sadly rolled onto the floor.

His sprout grew to about an inch long but he never sent out any roots. I keep waiting for the roots and watering him but the roots never came! Then one day I entered the kitchen and noticed that curly was looking different. His sprout looked shorter and well... just odd. My sheepish husband admitted that he had knocked over the cup and partially broken Curly's sprout off.

This time I wasn't going to mess up. I bought a pot, pulled out the little bag of potting soil I keep for topping off my houseplants and planted him. And again........nothing.......more........happened for a very long time.

Not being a patient person I did what any obsessed avocado seed owner would do. I partially dug him up..
and discovered...
that I had planted the poor guy upside down! Would this poor plant never get a break??

That was the bad news the good news was that Curly - in his infinite desire to make something of himself - had sent out a root. That root had begun pointing up but then turned downward and was reaching toward the bottom of the pot. So upside down he had to remain.

Where there were roots there was life and so I kept watering Curly and he  FINALLY once again sent out another sprout and actually began to thrive and grew into the plant you see in the picture, taken this past summer.

Enter Hutchinson - our Connemara (aka Jack Russell) Terrier. I'm sad to say that a couple of months ago while tossing his chew rope around Hutch wacked Curly and bent his trunk in half. There wasn't a way to save it as it was partially broken through so I cut off the top half of Curly.

Being the resiliant little plant that he is he has since sent out a new sprout and has leaves again and so the saga of "The little seed that could" continues.

If you've made it this far I applaud you. That was one long involved story. But it's a story with a message.

Curly has become our family symbol for not giving up in the face of adversity. No matter what is thrown his way or how many times we mow him down he just keeps coming back. When I'm feeling like life has dished out more than I can handle I think about Curly and it never fails to make me smile. And smiling always makes me feel better no matter what I'm facing.

Never, Never, Never Give up! - Winston Churchill

1 comment:

Ottavina said...

I was just thinking about Curly the other day, wondering how he's doing. So glad to hear he's doing well. And what a great lesson! :) Thanks, Lannette!