Gallery: Art Connections Gallery 123 N. Main Street on the Square in La Grange, Texas.
979-206-2222 http://www.artconnectionsgallery.com/

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saga of My Mom's Christmas Cactus, Photos

Many, many years ago I grew up in Magdalena, New Mexico, as you know.  My mom had a christmas cactus in the north window of the house.  It was in a galvanized tub and sat on a little homemade wooden bench.  The tub was about a foot and a half in diameter and the same amount of height.  The cactus grew up and out another foot and a half on every side.  It was pretty much ignored but always bloomed at Christmas with the most beautiful and plentiful fuschia colored blooms.  I think the main stems were an inch in diameter or more then.  If someone wanted some, they would just break off a piece at a joint and stick it in some dirt and it would grow again.  I had a piece when we lived in Roswell, New Mexico, and it traveled the world with us.

When we went to South America I just put a piece in some paper towels and took it along in my carry on.  We took the whole plant to Arizona .. smuggled it in across the border.  Ha.  My main plant was in Lubbock and when we went to Peru, Joanna was going to take it to Austin with her and I had a piece in my bag.  Well, we/she forgot the plant.  I put it in a box with some styrofoam peanuts and mailed it to her.  She kept it in the apartment and when we got our house in Austin, there was the cactus.  It had grown into a pretty big plant by then.  Maybe a fourth the size of my mother’s.

When the house burned in 2011 in Bastrop, that was the end of the cactus, sad to say.

No wait!!! as they say in the advertisements.  Pieces of the cactus had gone in many directions.  Kathy, Joanna’s room mate in Austin, way back when I mailed the cactus to Joanna, had started some of the cactus.  

We visited Kathy in Oregon this past summer and she had a piece of the cactus in a small pot.  I brought it home smushed in between computers, coolers and luggage.  I put it on the table in the living room.  It doesn’t get an abundance of sun, even though it is a south facing window because of the porch. As was tradition, I just sort of ignored it.   The cactus must think it is on the north side, because it began to bloom and has the most beautiful flowers.  The blooms are very red, but I imagine with maturity they will be a bit more pink.  Amazing, eh?  So now I have a bit of Mom’s cactus and it seems very happy in our new home.  Who knew??

This seems an appropriate place to add a few other photos from our Christmas holiday:

Gene and I for Thanksgiving, should be on a Christmas Card, right?

The whole bunch at Thanksgiving, thanks to Larry for the photos.

The brothers and sisters for Christmas.  (I'll put the whole bunch later.)

The house.

 A sample of the sunrise and sunsets during that time.

And, my little massage doggie that Santa left on my Computer!  I thought it was a Jack-in-the-Box!


Rose Welty said...

Enjoyed the story Jo. I know someone here who has a similar story - cactus inherited from her mother. Her home was destroyed in flooding in NO, the only salvageable thing from her kitchen was a bit of the cactus she was growing to give away (it was on the window sill and somehow stayed upright in the flood). She now again has a large Christmas cactus from her mother. You need to paint it Jo. :-)

Lovely to see all your family! All the best in the new year - let me know if you make it out this way, would love to come meet you.

Bag Blog said...

I love a story with a happy ending! The photos are great too. You and Gene are looking like the handsome couple.

Joanna said...

What a great post, Mom!

Jo Castillo said...

Rose, thanks for your story, too. They are hearty plants when loved. :) Maybe we will get that way soon.

Bag Blog, thank you. Never thought of us as handsome. Ha.

Joanna, thank you daughter. You were a good caretaker of the cactus. Love ya.

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About Me

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los Niños. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill


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