My Battle With Roses

RoseI am lousy with plants.

I don’t feel particularly defeatist about this, this is just something that has never interested me, and clearly I have little skills around nature. So both sides seem to acquiesce to mediocrity.

The first time I even attempted to grow something was when my wife and I got a little live Christmas tree as a gift. This was back in the quiet days before kids and we were living in an apartment and I thought what the hell? Why not try to keep this thing alive. It deserved a chance to live, right? It was either that or throw it away. The second option felt cruel (picturing a little cartoon voice screaming in my imagination), so there you go.

After re-potting this little tree, I began to water it and keep a daily eye on it as it sat by the window. When the weather got warmer, we moved it to the balcony and, I’m still not sure how this was possible, a frog began visiting it. This frog would somehow get to our second floor balcony every night, and then relax by it, maybe under it or on the railing nearby. It would just chill, the tree would just chill, and we would sit by the window watching both, chilling as well.

A strange and beautiful moment of peace.

Sadly, this was not to last and the tree didn’t survive the summer with its branches turning from green to brown. There was nothing I could do. My wife explained that little trees like that are not really breed to survive. So my dream of it growing into a full tree that I could plant in a future yard and each year decorate with lights, telling my perfect future kids about how I had grown it from a little sprout… well… that wasn’t going to be.

I know we gave that tree and frog both names, but I can’t remember either of them right now. Continue reading

Finding Home

I wrote an article for GreenSpotBlue with some parental advice for finding a first house. Here is the intro to it:

We all want our child to grow up next door to Mr. Rogers.

And for those of us who have grown up in rural communities, we want our children to have the same streets to bike on and the same trails and paths to explore. But many times when looking at a first home, new homeowners can see the world through hazy eyes, shrouded in memories of their own childhood, as compared to the actual reality in front of them. Continue reading