Some things seem to take a very long time to get going. My prickly pear cactus is a good example. I got it last summer at, of all places, a garage sale.
The woman had hostas for sale and I bought several. I noticed that she had a good sized patch of healthy-looking prickly pear growing in her yard and couldn’t help but be curious–we get snow here, and deep cold, and (usually) plenty of rain. How was this cactus thriving?
She told me it was a Montana variety which survived cold and wet quite well, and asked if I’d like some. Having a serious jones for cacti, I couldn’t say no. She refused payment, saying she needed to thin it anyway, and scurried away to get thick leather gloves and a hand trowel.
I planted my new prize in a pot since my plans for a rock garden have yet to come to fruition (it’s on the list!).
The prickly pear didn’t grow at all last summer, even though that’s the growing season. It sat in its pot, looking as if it intended to stay just like that forever. I didn’t expect anything over the winter but when spring came around I started to wonder how on earth that woman’s prickly pear had grown so much that she needed to thin it. Mine wasn’t doing a thing, despite a good sandy potting mix and cactus food. Then, the other day I noticed this:
See those tiny bumps? New buds! I think there’s one on the long section that dangles over the edge of the pot, too, but it’s hard to see.
Knitting, I realized, is much the same way. I always reach a certain stage in a project–the dreaded middle–when no matter how much I do, nothing seems to be happening. I get frustrated and think I’m never going to be done, that the sweater or shawl or sock is going to hang around, mocking me, forever. And then, miraculously, it’s done.
Yes, I know it’s unconventional, but I’m leaving the toes on holders until my mom has tried them on and I know the fit is right. Since this is the first time I’ve made socks for somebody else, I don’t want to have to un-Kitchener them if they’re wrong. So, the second sock is done. I’m going back to the first one now, to fix that Witchypoo toe. The finish line is in sight!
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