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The One Hundred Year Old Onion

August 5, 2018

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The One Hundred Year Old Onion

August 5, 2018

 

Here's the thing, most people inherit money or jewelry or real estate, I inherited an onion. You see when my mother passed away all she really had left were the things in her nursing home room. Her life had been reduced to a few boxes of memorabilia, pictures, books, and the onion which was living in the glory of full sunshine on her windowsill. And that's right, I inherited it all, including the onion. It's really quite remarkable--the onion that is. After all, this particular onion plant was close to ninety years old when I became it's mother. My mom got it from a neighbor friend shortly after she was married almost 70 years ago and the woman, who mom says was a strange old woman, gnarly and hag-like said it was twenty years old at that point. The onion had been part of my life forever. Mom kept it in or near the kitchen. Sometimes it was seen in the bathroom so it could get "some spritzing." Mom called it the pregnant onion because every so often it would develop these fat bellies and little baby onions would pop out, fall into the soil and develop into larger onions like the ones in the picture. Mom would lovingly transplant the onions in fresh pots and give them away or keep them or sadly sometimes they didn't make it. Pretty cool huh. So from the original onion hundreds of children were born. The thing is, I am not the most gifted caretaker of things green and I feared for the onion's life so I gave it to my daughter Emily who has been caring for it these past many years. Emily it seems, inherited not only the onion but also my mother's green thumb. My hope is that the onion will live on and one day Emily will pass it down. In a world where so much is disposable and temporary. Where life and circumstances can change in an instant I am so glad that we had the onion, rock solid, thriving and a beloved, living memory of my mother.

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