The Shoots That Bind

I’m not personally big on preservation for preservation’s sake, because it seems to me that the essence of life is change.

But I do like to be reminded of connections, to the wider world and to that which came before me. It’s why I’ve kept my paternal grandfather’s old pocket watch with me for the last four decades, and wore it to all of my job interviews when I was looking for my first job.

So when we made plans to replace the original home at 286 Chestnut with a new one I looked for ways to maintain some connections. I kept a number of the bricks from the planter boxes, and the original “286” numbers from the front porch. Some of the bricks, and the numbers, I’m going to send to Nancy Tonkin, who grew up at 286 Chestnut.

But I also wanted something living to remind me of what had been there before. I knew I couldn’t salvage the bougainvillea, which I love, or the lavender, which is a much more attractive plant than I appreciated.

Fortunately, there were a number of geraniums — planted by Nancy years ago, no less! — which were hardy enough to make the transition. I’m happy to report the transplants have adapted to the pots we put them in, and appear to be doing well:

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