When my grandparents, Joel Daniel MARTIN and Florrie THOMAS MARTIN, left South Carolina for Virginia in the mid 1920’s, they didn’t take much with them. There wasn’t much room in their vehicle after loading up themselves and five children!
One thing my grandma did bring was a Christmas cactus. Was it a cutting from a plant belonging to someone dear to her? Was it her own plant? I don’t know, but I know it was important enough to her that she cared for it during that trip and beyond.
Grandma lived with my family when I was growing up. Her Christmas cactus was always there. Below is a photo of it from the 1960’s.
When Grandma passed away in 1979 her cactus went home with my Uncle Bobby and his wife, Dot. They took good care of the cactus for many years until Uncle Bobby offered it to my sister who gladly took it. My sister cared for it for many years, too, but it died as plants eventually do.
That’s not the end of the story, though.
Children and grandchildren of my grandma had taken cuttings off her cactus for years, and grew their own cactus plants. All of those plants died except for the one grown by my cousin, Chet, and his wife, Carolyn.
In August 2014 I had the opportunity to visit Chet and Carolyn, who live in another state. They kindly let me take a few cuttings from their Christmas cactus. I was determined to keep it alive. I can be a plant killer, so this was a challenge.
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