We were sitting on the little patio of the four house condominium, looking at the community park over across the small yard, the extra-wide neighborhood road, the nine space parking lot, and the neighborhood pool. I always wondered why they built all the condominiums facing North-East and not North. (Even the ancient Egyptians could do better than that.)
My grandmother and I were sitting on one of the two outdoor chairs with footrests that come out from underneath the seat. Next to us sat the old metal table and two rocking chairs as well as two other chairs that are so small you can barely sit on them. As usual, the cushions were taken off the footrests and used as a pillow on the back of the chairs so both chairs looked like a sandwich with the top flipped up. Then she put her legs up on the footrest so the back of her legs touched the main part of the footrest and she put her feet on the front of the footrest.
Across the extra-wide road was a tree that the whole neighborhood just planted. I was amazed that they dug the hole properly and they even made it so there was a trench around the tree for water. The bad thing about it is that they forgot to put mulch on it, and they didn't get anyone to water it because they thought their irrigation would water it, even though they only turn it on occasionally. Interestingly, the irrigation doesn't even hit the place where the tree is. As a result, almost all the leaves turned brown or fell off. In an effort to save it from near death, I deliberately walked across the street to the tree with my grandmother's tiny little watering can that held less than two cups of water and watered the tree.
After that, I watered the tree every day I was at her condo. So they can water it when I'm not there, my grandfather decided to go to the grocery store (as he does almost every day) to buy one (only one) two-gallon jug of water to fill up, put it on a dolly, and roll over to the tree and water it.
I then thought to myself of my mission trip to Appalachia, KY where I helped a very nice old woman with her floor that was/is caving in. I was talking to her about her plants and she gave me one to take back with me to Louisville, KY. During the conversation I had with her she mentioned that she never wants to have any fake plants because her grandmother didn't believe in having fake plants when you could have real ones.
Now, my plant from Appalachia is dying and I can’t make it regenerate. This makes me sad. My best hope to “save” it is to plant a new plant in the same pot, same soil, and hope for it to grow. That way it can “become” the other plant.
Then I thought of how my hope for my plant from Appalachia is similar to what I had already done (with the help of my grandmother and grandfather) to the tree in my grandmother's neighborhood.
Then I thought of my relationship with my grandmother, how she watched and babysat me when I was little. I loved to go over to her house to play in her garden or go “traveling” with my grandfather, where my grandmother walked with us to the end of their corner lot whichever way I wanted to go, then she stopped waved goodbye to us then she walked back to their house and sat on the back patio.
As it neared time for me to leave I asked her about the flower baskets she had hung on the eve of the roof. I asked her if she wanted me to water them. She said no because they were fake. Then to myself, I thought they're made of fake foliage, fake foliage, fake foliage.