Jack’s legendary orchid

How does an orchid become a legend? The answer is pretty easy really—ol’Jack simply puts it on Facebook, that social media site that allows people from all over the world to boast about just how much fun they’re having. Now I don’t use Facebook to make mean political statements about how stupid everybody else is and I don’t post any self-help posters about taking one day at a time or learning to love yourself even though it seems like nobody else does. What I post mainly are photos of my lovely wife and me on one sort of trip or another or maybe a brief video of our little dog, Fluffy, doing something cute like opening a wrapped birthday present. Most of my so-called friends really ‘like’ those, even though a couple of major ‘posters’ never bother to hit the ‘like’ button on anyone else’s posts or at least not mine.

Ol'JackSo what about the legendary orchid? Like some of my friends, I like to share pics of some of the nice flowers we have down here in tropical Panama. One orchid in particular seems to have been put into an ideal spot, with the exact correct formula of sun/shade/humidity and karma. I don’t know about you, but ol’Jack usually purchases a nice orchid at a nursery or flower stand and enjoys about a month of beautiful blooms until the plant regresses into one or two bare stalks with the odd green leaf tucked in an ornamental basket.

But not this orchid. Shoot after shoot of cascading white flowers tipped in purple have sprung forth one after another in rather large clumps. This particular plant won’t quit. However, to be a true legend, even a prolific orchid needs a backstory; and so it does.

One thundery afternoon, my lovely wife arrives back from a trip into Panama City and she’s near tears. The traffic was “crazy” she reports and wherever she went the service was terrible and the stores didn’t have what she wanted and then it rained. I know this all sounds pretty normal, but to add to the frustration, when she pulled her newly purchased grocery-store orchid out from the backseat, the main stem broke off. What she showed me could only be called a “Charlie Brown” orchid, bent and lopsided.

It wasn’t dead, just misshapen, so we didn’t throw it out. The rest is history and the saga continues. A new sprout has just sprung.

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