Bloom Where You are Planted

I had a moment of abject panic this morning. I couldn’t find the small, Louis Vuitton suitcase that I packed with every piece of jewelry I own. The pearls Jonathan gave me when Lauren was born, the Hermes bracelets, the ring I bought myself in St. John as a “divorce present,” everything…  I remembered I took it to my hotel room last night, but I didn’t remember putting it back in the car. I opened the trunk this morning in the dark, and just stared at the empty place where the suitcase should have been.

In the old days, I would not have had a hotel receipt or any notion of where I last saw the suitcase (in fact I would have been ready to start drinking when I got to the hotel, and would have left the suitcase in the trunk instead of being all “I’m so responsible and sober now, so I better keep my valuables with me in case the car gets broken into.”). I decided I must have left the suitcase in the hotel room and it was as if my guts melted into my thighs – a sort of sinking feeling that my luck had run out already. I ran back into the house to find the hotel receipt with the phone number and beg whoever worked the front desk at 5 a.m. to do the right thing and send me my shit!

I went into my childhood bedroom and sitting on the end of the bed like a miracle was the suitcase. I have become so responsible that I safeguarded my jewels without even knowing it, removing them from the trunk in my sleepy neighborhood driveway, in case the car was broken into. I got pretty dramatic, thanked God vociferously – fell partway to my knees. Then I realized that God Almighty was probably disinterested in the contents of my suitcase and that it was okay to take credit for being sober and responsible (and for dragging the bloody, Louis hither and yon), but until I got myself safely to Grand Rapids, I should pay attention and leave the jewelry in the trunk.

Dee gave me some of her customary words of wisdom when I was leaving on Monday morning. She said, “Stop on the border of Florida and open the window and [metaphorically] throw all the negative stuff away – get rid of it and have a brand, new start. Like my grandmother used to say, “Bloom where you are planted.”

I don’t want to be one of those annoying Florida transplants who keeps complaining about the weather, but have you noticed the photograph above? That is my mother’s front yard. Does that look like a place where anything can bloom? I think the “Bloom where you are planted” aphorism is something I will use in the Spring.

For now I think my motto will be:

Keep the fu*king Louis in the trunk, Marilyn. And pump the breaks. Make sure you pump the breaks…

Today I’m not drinking because the roads are icy and I’m still driving.

How come you’re not drinking?