Trina Machacek: An Upside Down World

There’s a thing about me flying through the seat of my pants for most of my life. I know there are important things that need to be taken care of with mature thoughts and actions. But! Yes a fly by “but.” Life should above all be fun. After all, it’s so short.

However, there are times when little things can make me giggle. So much so that I like to keep some little things going as usual. Like a plant I grew in my house. I don’t really like houseplants. I got rid of some when my husband passed away. They were more his than mine. It was a conscious choice to become houseplant-free. It was truly an act of mercy for the plants. I wasn’t a good plant improver and it wasn’t long before their greenery looked this and that pretty shabby. So they went out. Then a friend gave me an orchid. AARRGGHH.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the gesture and I went out of my way to grow the beautiful blooming thing. It bloomed for a very long time. I even read up on it a bit to make sure I gave it every chance to get through my ineptitude of growing skills. Then the blooming stuff stopped and it was a green thing. I continued to water it once a week.

Some people said I should only put an ice cube in the jar once a week. I’ve thought about that. Then I watered it in the sink with the tap and filled the pot to the brim once a week. OK, I admit I thought it took more than one silly ice cube because I live in the desert. Yes, I have killed many a desert cactus because of too much water. But this was a flower. Don’t all flowers need a lot of water?

Well, the orchid wouldn’t die. Not that I was trying to see it in orchid heaven. I do have this philosophy. According to plants, they better be ready to live in spite of me, not because of me. This crazy plant is still alive. So I have a bigger pot and some orchid soil. Utilities? Oh, you should see it. It’s bigger and greener than it should be because I’m not a good indoor gardener. I’m actually surprised it’s still alive with me.

There’s only one problem. I think it should be some sort of finger or stem or whatever you call it, the thing where the flowers would pop out and give me a show. It refuses to grow the flowery and blooming things. It started growing like roots that sprouted at the bottom of the plant, but at the top of the soil and then those root things grow down. As carrots should. Except two. I thought these things that looked like two fingers started and grew and would be the things the flowers would find as homes. You know, showing me some appreciation for the water, the larger pot, and the orchid dirt. No!

I just watered it and those two skinny finger things are growing up. As if they are looking for something to stick their heads in to grow. But they are growing up, not down, and have been for months. I fully expect them to become “the plant Trina ate” at some point. Why are we doing, OK me, why am I doing this? Let this plant rule me? I really get the heebie nerds when I look at it. But I can’t convince myself to cut the fingers or anything. I mean come on. It goes out of its way to do what it does. I really don’t think it knows what to do with the way it grows.

Life has a way of turning things upside down. Without even trying or thinking, I sometimes find myself in situations that have no rhyme or reason. Recently I went through an upheaval in life. We all have those moments in life. Whether it comes out of the blue or you see them coming. I’ve been thinking hard and taking the time to figure out what the heck happened. In the end I just let it go. I couldn’t make things grow upright figuratively. Like this silly orchid. It’s gotten to the point where I’m happy to let my situation and the plant figure it out on its own while I wait and watch.

I love that life works upside down and right side up. Both are interesting paths, aren’t they?

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her books are available online wherever you buy books or email her at [email protected] to purchase signed copies.

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