Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Remember my Purple Heart Plant that froze in Michigan in late October? My Ironman Plant? That had only a few little tentative sprigs surviving under the dead, frozen branches?

It's alive again.

It's my reminder never to give up hope. When I'm discouraged or overwhelmed or can't figure out an answer.... some green sprig in me will survive and grow.

When we came to this place, near Austin, I couldn't imagine where I was going to run to train for the marathon. No road looked likely and I thought I'd have to drive 10 miles to go running. I did not like this place. But I've found great running roads and a job I love and I have this great bike commute to work and it's all going so much better than I'd pictured at first.

And my plant is growing and growing to remind me.... hope should never be considered dead, even if it seems frozen.

If you look closely, you'll see that part of this plant is -- a different kind of plant.

That's my sweet potato plant. Back last fall, when we went to Winchester, VA, the immediate area didn't look good for running or biking, and I figured the campground job with its work schedule would spell the end of my Ironman training. It turned out better than I could have imagined. Not only did I find a great pool, great running routes, and wonderful biking, but the campground manager asked for a copy of my training schedule and arranged my whole work schedule (and therefore everyone else's as well) around it. And, after IMFL, I joined the Shenandoah Valley Runner's Club and did some fun winter races.

I expected nothing and got everything.

During that winter, I went to see if there were any useable sweet potatoes in the basket for supper, and found that one of them was shriveled up but had inch-long sprouts on one end. I saw an inedible sweet potato and got a lovely plant. It became my "Expect-something-where-you-don't-expect-it" plant and I planted it into the same pot with my Purple Heart Ironman Plant. It, too, froze back to nearly nothing in the frost. I really didn't expect it to grow back at all. I grieved for it.

But there it is, shooting up.

In everything give thanks.


bunnygirl said...

Happy New Year, Ellie!

TxTriSkatemom said...

that's an awesome post. Never give up, that's right!

Yes, I will email you so we can arrange the meetup -- there is one potential hangup in my Austin plans that involves a three-day pond hockey tournament in Wisconsin the boys are contemplating. I'm hoping it falls through and we can all trek down to Austin instead. But as soon as I know for sure I will let you know!

CVSURF said...

Just found your blog and really enjoyed your posts. Especially your Mad Triathlete one. I went out with a group yesterday and looked like the underprivileged kid with my bike. However its the engine that gets it moving. Things have gotten out of whack with the cost of events and equipment. Plus I thought I was the only one that knew about the sweet tea instead of Gatorade thing.

ShirleyPerly said...

Great post! Hope your holidays went well. The coconut bra and grass skirt would have been useful to have around our Kona condo when a few young nieces have visited. They always seem to want to hula.