Saturday, August 31, 2019

Hurricanes and Learning to Face Your Limitations



I've been happily propagating and adding to my plant collection over 40 years and here for the past 4 years. I came here with 10 plants and now, due to the kindness of friends, mostly, have literally hundreds of plants to care for during hurricanes and freezes.

One of the drawbacks to living in an apartment complex is that they dictate what you do during bad weather. Now, with Hurricane Dorian bearing down on us, they've decreed that everything "loose" must be secured by Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, they're all off on their Labor Day holiday, pretty much saying we're on our own until Tuesday.

So I've been hauling plants into the courtyard, trying to put them as close to the concrete walls surrounding it as I can. I'm doing all this with a torn muscle in my shoulder and a bad back. Bette Davis was right when she said "Aging ain't for sissies!"

This has led me to the belief that in order to survive without injuring myself further, they'll pretty much stay this way until hurricane season is over, or the likelihood of a major storm has passed. In the meantime, I'll be trying to sell or give away as many as possible to make my chore less onerous during future storms and freezes.

I'm not really going to try to save many plants this winter. Only my most precious will come inside, or those that I know I can sell when spring comes. The rest that are planted in the ground or too heavy to haul inside will be on their own. If they die, they die. There is only so much I can do.

A friend pointed out that none of us is getting any younger, and said that she didn't replace plants killed during the last storms/freezes and she won't replace any that are lost in the future. I have pretty much the same attitude.

I can't take plants or seeds to Mexico, and why would I want to? I'm going to be living in an apartment there, and most apartments don't have courtyards or large balconies, so I'm going to go back to raising African Violets under lights, or maybe a few house plants. It's time to put the major outdoor gardening aside and bow to my aging body's screams.

It's sad when you have to come to the realization that you simply cannot do what you used to do. I used to haul hundreds of plants in and out of the house, porch and garage for every storm or freeze, but I simply can't do that anymore. I have pictures from all my gardens, and I'll have to be happy with those in the future, celebrating all I've done and changing my lifestyle to do what I can now.

All in all, it's been a wonderful gardening life, and even when I can only have a few plants, it will be worth the loss for a great, new life.

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