The Norfolk Island Pine Comes In from the Cold
I am a girl who used to own lots and lots of potted plants. I had them all over my office at work, and I had them at home. But I realized when we got our first cat, Gremlin, a big orange tabby-boy, that the whole plant thing was just not working out, between plants and cats.
I think the deciding event was the day he jumped up in the air, grabbed the schefflera, swung out across the room on it like Tarzan, and dumped the entire potted plant, with dirt, down all over the television set. The next day, I took all of my plants in to work.
And then I moved offices, and I lost my windows. And I gave all those plants away, little by little: except for one, a little Norfolk island pine tree that I bought years and years ago (way back when our offices were in Mitchell Building) as a tiny Christmas tree.
That little pine tree has traveled with me through every office since. And so in March, when the whole Covid-working-remote thing happened, I had to bring the tree home. But of course, with Dexter in the house, I couldn't bring it in. I knew he would never leave it alone.
So the tree stayed in the garage until it was warm enough, and then I took it outside. T. Tiger even got to ride with it on our new yard cart! The tree has sat outside until a few weeks ago, when I brought it into the garage because the temperatures were just getting too cold for it.
Then a few things happened. Dexter died unexpectedly in late October, and an old friend of mine sent us flowers in his memory, which we placed on the table in his room where he always liked to sit. It helped a little, having something pretty there to look at, instead of empty space.
Well, as the flowers began to fade, I realized a shocking thought: the Norfolk Island pine tree could finally come indoors. And so this past week, I went down to the garage and brought it up, and now it sits on Dexter's table, by his window, in what will always be Dexter's Room.
Who knows - maybe this year, I will decorate it as a Christmas tree.
But whatever we do, at least, it has come in from the cold. . . .
The soundtrack song is this one: Joni Mitchell, with Come In From the Cold.