Monday, July 18, 2011

The Blankety-Blank Terra Cotta Pot

Today I am using this blog as a place to voice my frustrations.  A place to scream all of the things that I've been holding back.  A place to vomit from the dark side of my being.  And, it all has to do with a blankety-blank terra cotta pot.  My 85 year old mom's FAVORITE CLAY POT.

The pot is, indeed, a very nice pot.  Pleasing to the eye.  The pot has aged in a most poetic manner with the greens of lichens that Martha Stewart strives for in her Aging a New Terra Cotta Pot 101 class.  It is my mother's FAVORITE CLAY POT.

Several plants from my mother's amazing garden (I can't call it a yard...it was in it's entirety a garden) made the move to Lubbock in some of her most coveted clay pots.  She  carefully chose the pots from her collection of at least 37 terra cotta pots.  The FAVORITE CLAY POT is pictured below.  I won't point it out to you.  By the end of this cathartic tale, you will know it well. 

  
Only one of the transported specimens, the blue plumbago, survived the cruel winter of Zone 7 here in West Texas.  Whatever was planted in the FAVORITE CLAY POT simply went to sleep sometime in late November and never woke up when the warm sun of Spring tapped its stiff, brown branches.  The loss of the plant was magnified tenfold by the huge chunk that fell off the side of the FAVORITE CLAY POT.  

"Oh, Mom!  Looks like the old pot couldn't take the cold West Texas winter.  I'll get Alan to help me haul it to the dumpster," I said having no idea the tempest that was brewing in the FAVORITE CLAY POT.

"It can be glued back together!" my feisty mother insisted, "Once when we had a bad storm in Waco, a limb fell on a pot that I really liked and broke it.  My neighbor got some special glue and glued it back together.  It was good as new!"

The thought of wagging that rather large pot filled with old dry potting soil with the roots of the deceased plant exposed on the "open air" side, dumping the dirt, cleaning the pot, shopping for the right adhesive, figuring out how to clamp the pieces of the pot together while the adhesive dried...I think you get the picture.  I am one lazy daughter.

"Mom.  That's a pretty big piece.  The pot has other cracks in it that are threatening to bust wide open."

"Yeah, but it can be glued. Once when we had a bad storm in Waco, a limb fell on a pot that I really liked and broke it.  My neighbor got some special glue and glued it back together.  It was good as new!  Besides, it's my FAVORITE CLAY POT."

For several months I totally Goldilocks-ed the project.  It was too cold outside.  We had too much going on to deal with a broken pot.  I was really busy planning the Maui trip.  It was too windy.  (In Lubbock, Texas, "too windy" constitutes a valid excuse.)  I needed to rest up from the windy day.  I needed to wash my hair.  The sun was in my eyes.  The 2011 Drought has left me feeling lethargic.

Alas, the day arrived.  No more excuses.  The weight of dutifully repairing the FAVORITE CLAY POT had been dangling over my head for too long.  It was time to pony-up and be a good daughter.  So, Alan helped me load it up into the back of the Suburban along with all the other pots on Mom's porch that needed to be dumped and replanted.

Once home, I turned the pot over the big trashcan in our driveway to dump the dirt.  Ka-blooey!  Another big chunk dislodged and thunked into the trashcan breaking into pieces.  I gathered up the pieces chanting, "I-adore-my-85-year-old-mother-I-adore-my-85-year-old-mother-I-adore-my-85-year-old-mother..."  Then, I hosed down the pieces and set them in the driveway to dry completely.


Once they were dry, I gathered the pieces.
I rounded up all of my gluing supplies.
Then, after about 30 minutes of gritting my teeth and convincing
the first piece to stay in place, I completed my mission.
Well, almost completed.  Turns out one vital piece of the puzzle is missing. 
That blankety-blank terra cotta pot.  Now, I must call Mom to deliver the bad news.  Her FAVORITE CLAY POT breathed its last at 3:38PM this afternoon.  I can already hear her.

"Have you emptied the big trash can in your driveway to see if the piece fell all the way down to the bottom under the grass clippings?  I'll bet it's there.  When you find it, I'll bet that you can glue it in place.  Once when we had a bad storm in Waco, a limb fell on a pot that I really liked and broke it.  My neighbor got some special glue and glued it back together.  It was good as new!  I just know that you can fix it!  It's my FAVORITE CLAY POT!"

2 comments:

Carrie said...

Well it is/was a very nice pot.
You are a great daughter.

Carolyn Lackey said...

Thanks, Carrie!!