I know. I know! We haven’t even left our house yet and I’m already having moving regrets? How many more mistakes will I make?
Well, probably a lot, knowing me. I already have several, such as packing the nutmeg and all our paper plates and plastic silverware.
But my biggest regret came in like a wrecking ball. About five days before the moving company came, I spent one morning transplanting all my flowers from my Sicilian blue ceramic pots into smaller plastic pots. I washed all the ceramic pots to get them ready for the move, already anticipating how pretty they will look full of flowers on the steps of our new deck.
Then I looked at my flowers and suddenly worried that they wouldn’t last in the smaller pots for very long. They needed larger homes with fresh soil ASAP. So I took photos of all of them with my phone, posted them on our local “Craigslist” board, and said I’d give priority to the person that would take “all of them for $45!”
Within five minutes, they were all sold.
“Can I pick them up tonight?” the buyer asked.
My breath caught in my throat as I realized what I had done.
First of all, I had sold them for far too little, obviously. They were worth at least twice that. Dummy.
But secondly, and more importantly, I had just sold a gigantic piece of what made this house our home.
I definitely have a black thumb, but somehow I had managed to keep quite a few of these plants alive, and bit by bit — with gifts from friends and purchases from the plant man at the market — I had built up quite a garden. I filled our front entrance with forgiving succulents, brilliant bougainvillea, and a geraniums that were coming into their own in the perfect weather. On the back deck I had several plants that I had cultivated for years, slapping little hands away from their bright flowers and watering and feeding and adding fresh soil season after season.
And some had been gifts, like the beautiful houseplant my mom got for me right after Gil was born, the one she transplanted and positioned herself. And the succulents from my friend Becca, who left them in my care last year before their own move back to the States.
I shouldn’t have sold all those. I should have given some away, putting them in the hands of friends as parting gifts to say thank you, to leave a piece of myself growing and living and basking in the sun in Sicily.
But I didn’t. I helped the buyer carry all my beloved plants up to his car that evening, and I even ran after his car with one last plant (my mom’s, incidentally) that I had forgotten.
“I kept it inside until the last minute so the leaves wouldn’t break on the ground,” I said, breathless, as I handed it to him. The plant was beautiful: a Golden Pothos with long vines, a leafy waterfall. My heart broke just a tiny bit as I waved goodbye. “Good luck! I hope you enjoy them.”
Because I surely did. And I think, in the way that plants do, they enjoyed us too, and their short, sweet season in our little yellow house.