Trina Machacek: An upside-down world

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

There is something enjoyable to me to fly through most of my life by the seat of my pants. I know there are important things that need to be tended to with grown up thoughts and deeds. But! Yes a fly by “but.” Life for the most part needs to be fun. It is so short after all.

There are times however, when small things can give me some giggles. So much so that I like to let some small things just go on and on. Like a plant I have growing in my house. I don’t really like house plants all that much. I got rid of several when my husband passed away. They were more of his than mine. It was a deliberate decision to become house plant free. Really it was an act of mercy to the plants. I wasn’t a good plant do-gooder and it didn’t take long before their green this and that were looking pretty poor. So out they went. Then a friend gave me an orchid. AARRGGHH.

Don’t get me wrong I appreciated the gesture and I gave it my very best effort to grow the pretty blooming thing. It bloomed for a very long time. I even read a bit about it to make sure I gave it every chance to live through my ineptness of growing abilities. Then the flowering stuff stopped and it was a green thing. I kept watering it once a week.

Some people told me to just put an ice cube in the pot once a week. I thought about that. Then I watered it in the sink with the faucet and filled the pot to the top once a week. OK, I will admit I thought it needed more than one silly ice cube because I live in the desert. Yes I have killed many a desert cactus because of overwatering. But this was a flower. Don’t all flowers need lots and lots of water?

Well the orchid would not die. Not that I was trying to see it to orchid heaven. I do though have this philosophy. As per plants, they better be ready to live in spite of me, not because of me. This crazy plant is still living. So, I got a bigger pot and some orchid dirt. Now? Oh, you should see it. It’s bigger and greener than it should be because I am not a good inside gardener. I am actually amazed that it still lives with me.

There is just one problem. I think it should be growing some sort of finger or stalk or whatever you would call the thing where the flowers would pop out and give me a show. It refuses to grow the flower holding and blooming things. It did start growing like some sort of roots that sprouted at the bottom of the plant but on the top of the ground and then those root things grow down. Like roots should. Except for two. I thought these two finger looking things were starting and growing and would be the things the flowers would find as homes. You know, giving me a show of appreciation for the water, bigger pot and orchid dirt. Nope!

I just watered it and those two skinny finger things are growing up. Like they are looking for something to stick their little heads into to grow. But they are growing up, not down, and have been for months. I fully expect them to at some point become “the plant that ate Trina.” Why do we, OK me, why do I do this? Let this plant rule me? It really gives me the heebie geebies when I look at it. But I can’t convince myself to cut the fingers or whatever they are off. I mean come on. It’s giving its best effort to do whatever it’s doing. I really don’t think it knows what to do with the way its growing.

Life has a way of putting things upside-down. Without even trying or thinking sometimes I find myself in situations that have no rhyme or reason. Recently I went through a life upheaval. We all have those times in life. Whether out of the blue or you see them coming. I gave great thought and time to trying to figure out what in the world happened. Finally I just let “it” go. I couldn’t turn things to metaphorically grow upright. Like this silly orchid. It’s to the point that I am happy to just let my situation and the plant figure it out by itself while I wait and watch.

I love that life works upside-down and right-side-up. Both are interesting paths aren’t they?

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her books are available online wherever you buy books or email her at to buy signed copies.


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