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Friday, September 27, 2013

Levy Made My Day

While texting and laughing with a girlfriend last Friday morning, the front door bell rang.  Now, if you know me, you know that you DO NOT just walk up to my front door and ring the bell and expect me to answer it.  First, I freeze.  Then, I do a little tactical security maneuver that culminates in me letting you just stand there until a) you go away or b) you call/text me from the front porch.  But I am so glad that I answered that doorbell because on the other side was Levy, the most adorable little Japanese man who talks to me about my plumerias.  On this day, he wanted to ask about the plumeria tree outside my dining room window (we call it the Sweet Tart) and why it wasn't blooming.

Let me back up a little.  A couple of years ago while we were having a garage sale Levy spotted what we call our 100-year plumeria.  The 100-year plumeria is yellow and white and super fragrant and was given to me by the only female secretary that ever treated and supported me exactly like she treated and supported the other male directors and VPs she assisted.  The 100-year plumeria was brought from Japan to Hawaii and then to the mainland by her father's grandfather and she gave a clipping with a single bifurcation to me in 2000 in a 5-gallon clay pot.  There it sat in that pot in our backyard for years blooming and slowly growing.  And then, we planted it on the corner of the house and it took off!  It is obviously very happy 'cause it is huge and it has produced an enormous amount of clippings that we have planted throughout the yard and given away as anniversary and birthday gifts and made the flowers into homemade leis.  Along the way, we have bought a plumeria here and stolen a clipping there; now I have quite a collection even though I am in no manner of speaking an expert.
Levy was so sweet and so respectful and so concerned with why that Sweet Tart wasn't blooming.  I invited him to the backyard where this year's clippings are starting to build roots and sprout leaves and bright little blooms.  Even a clipping from the Sweet Tart out front that isn't blooming is blooming!  He stuck his hand into all the pots and condoned my combo of sand to cactus mix ratio and then he asked what I fed them and then he showed me how to read the ratios on the fertilizer packages and told me I bought the prettiest packaging but not the best product--not the first time I have been led astray by the shiny-and-pretty, people, and he kept telling me again and again what a nice young lady I was for taking the time to talk to him and let him see my garden.  Then he asked if I would be willing to trade my Sweet Tart clipping and another clipping that we literally bought at the airport in Lihue on Kauai--yeah, one of those cigar-looking stalks hanging in the cello bag next to the lei's and the bottle openers shaped like flip-flops--for two little miniature reds.  In spite of my self-proclaimed plumeria growing successes, I really do not know that much about plumerias, but what I do know is that everyone wants a red one--they are beyond coveted.  He was adorable telling me how he had studied plant biology and pathology and horticulture and how he had worked at Home Depot in the garden department--like I was interviewing him to adopt my clippings!  Then he sealed the deal by telling me that I must have been such a beautiful child because I was such a lovely young lady--Levy's got game, man.

We made our trade and he loaded his stuff into his car and he gave me my little red and then he bowed--he bowed to me.  It was the most gallant and humble gesture that I have experienced in a long time.  He just made me smile; hell, he made my day; my week; I am still walking on air after that bow.
I really need to make this red one not die!  I am not even going to hope for it to grow just yet, just please do not die, man.  Please, oh please, oh please.  But just imagine if it does grow...oh, my...Levy, you really made my day

xoxo Darya