Tending the Rubber Plant

This rubber plant story was introduced on this blog on April 29. Today I will write about my relationship with it.

Knowing that the full weight of keeping this plant alive was now on my shoulders I decided to get some help from “experts.” I stopped at a well-known gardening center of good reputation and asked the young lady in customer service if she could help me find something to clean and nurture rubber plant leaves. Casey’s family had made it clear to me that the leaves need attention or they will film over and the plant will be at risk.

The young service provider responded with enthusiasm and walked with me to a shelf of spray bottles. She chose a product and confidently endorsed it as a great choice. I read the label and said to her that I needed something for a live plant. She looked confused and said she thought I had said the plant was rubber.

I prayed and experienced victory over my tongue. I did not say, “I didn’t think it would be possible to find someone in a garden center that knew less about plants than I did!!!!” (I actually would have been surprised to find someone on the street that has had less experience with houseplants than I have had.) My victory over my tongue was extended. I did not ask her, “How did you possibly get a job at this place?”

I went home and remembered Jane. I hadn’t talked to her for a long time. I found her phone number and called. She is a retired employee of this same garden center.

I told her my rubber plant challenge and her responses seemed to be coming from an encyclopedia. We talked about everything that needed to be done and what would put the plant at risk. I asked if I could transplant it and even start new ones. “Oh, yes,” and her instructions continued to flow.

Knowing she no longer drove her car I said, “Jane, if I come and get you will you help me?” She said she would love to. We decided to wait until the weather was just a little better and at the end of this very fun conversation I asked Jane how old she was. “Roselyn, I am 79.”

In these days when the young seem to have an edge on technology and information, it’s nice to know that sometimes, experience is still the better teacher.

I can’t wait until Jane comes. I will write about it then.

What has experience taught you? Share your thoughts and stories with us.

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