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2011-12-08 digital edition

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2011-12-08 / General Stories

Watering Your Peacocks

Winter is upon us. I celebrated by dragging my potted plants indoors and placing them in front of my windows. This not only gives them what little sunlight is available on these shorter days, but it also blocks the brittle scenes of winter: The naked trees, brown grass and general dreariness.

Placing greenery in front of one’s windows allows us to imagine what spring will look like, at least until they die of dehydration.

It’s not that I plan to deprive them of water; it’s simply that my re-memory is busted.

Chances are, I will have to replace every potted plant by the spring. It’s a destructive cycle that I insist on trying to break every year.

I buy plants in the spring to enhance my deck and porch. I let Mother Nature take care of them throughout spring, summer, and fall. Hands down, she does a better job than I do. Then, when warned of imminent frost, I drag them all indoors. I should be commended for this act of selflessness, at least.

However, inevitably, sometime during the winter, I’ll realize that I forgot to water them. My first clue would be the brown, withered stalks sticking haphazardly out of a pot of dirt. Of course, I’d water them immediately, hoping to witness a resurrection. Unfortunately, miracles have never been my forte.

You may ask why I don’t simply leave them outside if I’m going to kill them anyway. That would certainly save me from the questioning looks from guests who see only pots of dirt decorating my window sills. The reason, of course, is that there is a huge difference between negligence and murder. Though the result is the same, I can forgive my forgetfulness, but intentionally leaving them outside to freeze is unacceptable.

An acquaintance of mine recently gifted me with a fistful of peacock feathers. I write “fistful” because many people may not understand if I called it what I actually saw: a bouquet. They were stalks of iridescent blue- greenery topped with beautiful heads reminiscent of flowers, a bouquet. I was delighted!

I have been looking for a tall, clear vase in which to display them, but I have yet to find the perfect one.

Lately, though, I have been formulating a half-baked plan. These little beauties will never die. I don’t have to water them, place them in the sun, or let Mother Nature take care of them.

When one of my plants on the windowsill dies, I can stick a bunch of feathers in the pot so my guests won’t think I am baking dirt.

The only problem is that I only have the one bouquet. Feathers don’t reproduce. I need the bird that produces these feathers.

This leaves me with one question:

How often do peacocks need to be watered?

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com.

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