Summer’s breakout star: Murphy.

Shortly, The Os at Home will bring you an excerpt from the highly-anticipated summer blockbuster The Biography of Murphy X.

But first, as the plumbers bang away in the basement, a sample of some knitting I’m doing. It looks bluer than it is, and it’s a Christmas present for someone in the family, so no more hints after this!

Knitting -- Christmas Project!

And now, onto:


Murphy’s early years — loves, losses, education, and upbringing — are lost to us. Probably assigned to a different ghostwriter.

Murphy is a crown-of-thorns plant, or at least, that was what Murphy was labelled at Ikea.  We found Murphy, three leaves clinging to a spindly stalk, in the bargain section for one dollar.  Since it seemed unlikely that I and my not-green thumb could make Murphy much worse, and since the summer plants (basil, thyme, mint) were about to reach their end, we decided to take Murphy home with us, along with the dish towels and the  difficult-to-build small pieces of furniture.

Murphy perked up a bit at first, surrounded by ivies and the hardy little thyme plant that could, but slowly drooped over the course of the winter. Eventually just a single yellow leaf hung precariously at the top of the stalk. Murphy seemed about to meet the end.

As January turned into February (wedding plans afoot), two more leaves appeared on the stalk — and then Murphy, stowed on the western windowsill, fell into hibernation, or a holding pattern. One of those.

And then one day, when we weren’t looking, Murphy blossomed into the plant you see today. A little watering seemed to ensure that those twenty-odd leaves would stick.  The spindly stalk became a sturdy stalk with spindly branches, and Murphy’s thorns looked more menacing than ever.  Murphy is poisonous, and poison never looked so good on a plant.

At our new house, Murphy, as the only example of flora in our domicile, holds pride of place on the coffee table. Installed on top of a blue glass plate on top of a Wedgewood plate rescued from a Goodwill store (another dollar find; biography due out in early 2011), Murphy stands tall, shored up by honeymoon Maine beach rocks, waiting for something.  An end to Mrs. O’s sporadic watering and a return to regular nourishment? Adventure? Love? A cure for plant anxiety disorders? Another plant?  Only Murphy knows.

Oh Murphy. You’ve come a long way, baby.

All the way from Ikea.

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