When Partner and I were making all of the arrangements for me to move out to Seattle, I got estimates from a number of movers.  In talking with each company I had a number of questions and concerns that I needed addressed before signing a contract with any one of them. A major issue for me was moving my plants.

None of the moving companies were willing to move the plants, and I was a bit devastated by this detail.  In all of my past moves — and there have been more than I would like to count — the plants just traveled with me by car.  For the Ohio to Seattle move it was not an option as after pricing out our options (driving out west together, me driving out here on my own, shipping the car with a transport company, shipping it with the movers) it was going to be a better deal to just have the car shipped — less wear-and-tear on the car, less wear-and-tear on me, and I would get to my new home much sooner.

Still, I was saddened when I learned that there was not going to be a way for me to get my plants to my new home.  I realize that it sounds like a silly thing or a small thing to be upset about, but for me it was going to be a loss.  Plants were something I cared for and nurtured, and leaving them behind just did not sit well with me.  In the same way that being without my books leaves me feeling naked.

There was one plant I was most upset about leaving behind: Molly.

This is picture of Molly back in Ohio pre Seattle move

Knowing I would be leaving behind about 20 plants, I decided that somehow Molly was going to make the move with me.  Molly has been with me since 2003.  And yes, she is the only one of my plants that happens to be named.

On my second trip out to Seattle — the final one before I would be moving out here for good — I decided I needed to find a way to have Molly with me on that flight.  I checked the TSA website and a number of horticulture websites and there was no rule or regulation that prevented me from carrying a plant on a U.S. domestic flight.  So that was what I was going to do.

I did some serious pruning of Molly, removed her from the pot, wrapped her roots in wet paper towels and then wrapped all of that in saran wrap. To further protect her root system, I also modified a box I had lying around so that I could protect those while still letting her planty-self be.

Yes, in fact that is a philodendron in my purse!

TSA was a bit perplexed when they saw me with a plant in my bag.  But they were fantastic about safeguarding her from getting hit by the heavy lead drapes that carry on bags pass through as they enter the x-ray machine.

By the end of that trip we successfully repotted Molly and she stayed behind in Seattle keeping Partner company while I went back to Ohio to pack up the apartment and ready for the movers.

Molly thriving in Seattle, while one of the jade plants tries to recover from being neglected while we were in Thailand

As the date for my dissertation defense draws closer, I have been thinking a lot about the past seven almost eight months and all of the changes that have taken place.  This is certainly not where I thought I would be, not at all what I thought my life would become, but it is turning out far more amazing than I could have anticipated.  Brining Molly with me was not some way of holding on to the past, but about continuity, about bridging all of the experiences and places I’ve lived.


About OneGoneTwo

bioethicist, cultural studies, literature, and visual cultural scholar, writer, and lover of design
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