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Written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET)
Published: June 9, 2008
Updated: February 14, 2019
Bonnie and I have made our fair share of military moves. We have lived overseas and all over the United States from Boston to Panama City – Phoenix to Philly. Each time we moved we left it up to the contractors the household goods people sent to the house to pack our things. Our moves gradually became larger as we started collecting more and more stuff and thank goodness our weight allowance kept pace – we could ship up to 15,000 pounds during our last move and almost hit that number even though we would also pack our car so full you couldn’t see out the back windows.
A few homesteads ago, I think it was when we lived in Georgia but the wife seems to think Jackson, MS, we picked up this plant. Where we got him really doesn’t matter but his life story does. It is an amazing tale of hardship, neglect, perseverance and wonder.
I don’t know if your into naming your plants but because of our vast imagination we named this particular plant “Phil” – Phil is a philodendron – I know, I know, your asking yourself how did they come up with Phil? Pure brain power and imagination skills matched by only the most skilled of storytellers.
Phil has made many moves with us – I remember one move we put him in the back of the car where he stayed in the window in direct sunlight without being watered for a week. When we brought him in the house he looked a little parched but really no worse for the wear.
I remember another move when I opened the door to the car and he fell out on the parking lot of a hotel – there was dirt and Phil everywhere. I did my best to scoop up the dirt and Phil then placed him back in the car. Again, we got to our next house, added a little water and Phil was no worse for the wear.
Your going to think I made this up – I am sorry to say this is true. During yet another move Phil was packed by the movers even though there is a rule against packing perishables and plants, sadly we didn’t realize it until THREE months later when we unpacked the box. I remember the “Holy Crap” or words to that effect when Bonnie opened the box. Phil was almost all white – he was now an albino.
We apologized to Phil, gave him some water and in good ol Phil fashion he rebounded to his full green and vibrant self – we even gave him a larger pot and promised him this type thing would NEVER happen again.
If there is a society for the prevention of cruelty to houseplants someone really needs to get on the phone and report us. We have been on a vacation to Florida visiting Disney and the tons of relatives we have here for going on 4 weeks and don’t plan to return till mid-July, guess what… Oops, sorry Phil!