My Means To My End


I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. For me, they create too much pressure — and within a week, they’ll be in the trash heap and I’ll be spending the rest of the year beating myself up because I didn’t go to the gym or lose weight or learn a new craft.  Besides, in my world, each day gives us a chance to get a fresh start — hence, the sunrise photo at the top of this post.

This year, though, is different.

Orchid, close-up.

Maybe it’s because it’s a new year and a new decade. Maybe it’s because Joe and I just saw the dermatologist and had a few things cut off and set out for biopsy. Maybe it’s because tomorrow is my first stress test since arriving in Florida, and I just passed the one-year anniversary of the placement of my 14th coronary stent. Maybe it’s because the older I get, the more stories I hear about friends, family, and random people suddenly dying from either an illness or an accident. Maybe it’s because the older I get, the more I worry about the end . . . my end.

I apologize if all of this seems morbid — and I’ve tried to soften it with photos of flowers currently blooming in my garden — but this end-of-my-days stuff has been tapping me on my shoulder for some time now. I, however, chose to ignore it — until today.

The remains of a Bromeliad flower.

Let’s face it — death is a fact of life. Just look at all of the plants that you and I have loved over the years — and how many of them have died. Perennials and trees give us years — even decades or more of enjoyment — but pity the poor annuals. To paraphrase from Carol Burnett, “It seems they just got started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say so long.”

It’s the same thing with people. The older we get, the more we realize how quickly time passes. I recently watched a series, The Movies That Made Us, on Netflix. It looks at what happened behind the scenes at the some of the most iconic movies ever made. When a friend first told me about the series, I thought how interesting to hear all about Sunset Boulevard and other classics from the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s.

Instead, the series focused on films from the ’80s! The first episode was about Dirty Dancing. Excuse me, but when did Dirty Dancing become 33 years old? It feels as if I saw it yesterday! Could 33 years truly feel like yesterday? Am I so old that moments in my life are considered “iconic”?

Light Bulb Clerondenrum.

Joe and I have made plans for our passing — wills and DNRs and healthcare proxies and all that. I, though, have not made any arrangements for my digital life — my Nitty Gritty Dirt Man existence. That’s all changing in 2020.

For starters, I’m investigating each of my social media platforms for their “death” information. WordPress, which hosts this blog, appears to have the most comprehensive policy — including information on how to make someone else an admin on my site and how WP can work with the designated survivor to either transfer the site to another owner or make it private.

Aloe.

Facebook and Twitter, meanwhile, are vying for second place — although FB has a slight edge. Simply click on the question mark in the upper right corner of the page and type in “death.” There will be a list of topics, including creating a legacy contact and memorializing the FB account of the deceased. Twitter has a similar search area, but the information feels a bit less complete than FB.

In my brief research, LinkedIn appears to need some work in the area.

Gout Plant.

There’s also my own plan. My hope is that Joe will be outlive me, and it’s for him that I am making a spreadsheet with all of my NGDM and personal social media accounts, as well as the password for each of them. I’m also going to type out step-by-step instructions on how to post what is the most difficult part of this process.

I’m going to write my own farewell post to you. After all, you are a large part of this blogging process and of gardening. Your support and encouragement and smiles are often more rewarding than a seed successfully sprouted.  Once written, it will remain as a draft — hopefully for a very long time — and Joe will simply have to open the admin page and hit publish.

Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow.

As I write this, I’m suddenly realizing there’s always the possibility Joe will pre-decease me (although, I don’t really see that happening since I have more health issues) or that we will both go at the same time. In either case, I’m going to have to choose a digital executor or . . .

. . . accept that at some point, it’s all ashes to ashes, bytes to bytes.

The Great Hydrangea Experiment


I long for hydrangea days.

As much as I love living and gardening in South Florida, I can’t help but deeply miss the hydrangeas in my New York garden. I loved photographing them from their first green buds in spring to the fullness of color during their bloom time to the their faded glory in fall to winter’s dried-brown clusters.

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Love In The Time Of Plumeria


I’m not sure when my gardening mind turned to — for want of a better term — composted manure, but I’m pretty positive I know the exact moment I realized it. I was mowing the lawn, daydreaming while I worked, and an idea — one that was already well known to me, you, and everyone else, but seemed like a fresh discovery — popped into my head.

Trees can be grown from seeds.

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Gardening In The Cone Of Anxiety


This isn’t the post I had planned to write. That original post has to wait for another day because of Hurricane Dorian — and before I get into the meat of this post, please, understand that I am in no way making light of the situation in the Bahamas. That is tragic. That is devastating — and I’m not even sure those words are strong enough to fully capture what the people there have experienced and are continuing to face each day.

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Son Of Seed Mustache From Space


A long time ago— May, actually — in a galaxy far, far away— just outside of the front door — an alien-looking seed mustache from space appeared on the tip of a desert rose branch. That was the general gist of an earlier post — but after a couple of months, my sci-fi fantasy that is South Florida gardening has become, “Captain, the pod doors have opened.”

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