My short memoir, Nana’s Cactus, was recently published in Arkansas Review. Arkansas Review, an Arkansas State University literary journal, is more difficult to find than a regular magazine so you likely haven’t read it. (The online page doesn’t appear to have been updated recently.) My story is about a cactus and Nana and Elvis and life and death. Sort of deep I suppose for only a few words… Although I’m not going to re-print it here, I will give you the back story on the plant itself.
As long as I can remember, Nana’s cactus thrived in a dusty glass terrarium on her carport at the home place. In the mid-1970s when Nana and Papa moved to Keiser, that cactus moved to their new carport in Keiser. Each time we visited Nana and Papa (daily?), we walked by her cactus to get to her back porch. Hundreds of times.
The cactus was a tangle of a plant that lived outside no matter the weather. During fall, the blades were often buried in layers of leaves. It spent many winters beneath two or three inches of snow yet always bloomed bright yellow in May.
I took a cutting with me to college. It traveled with me to several apartments in Waco, my first house in Dallas and my last home on Worth Street in Munger Place. Several years ago when it outgrew its largest pot (it’s not the easiest to transplant as you might imagine – see those needles in the picture below!), John planted it in the hottest corner of our Dallas flower bed.
Last week I started over with Nana’s Cactus. I took another small cutting, repotted it and moved it with me to Fayetteville. I think it’s happy to be back in Arkansas.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
P.S. My sister and Momma have cuttings of Nana’s cactus. Other family members do too.
Bobby Goldsboro, Honey