‘Fern fight’ time in the Kiaski household

This time of year Better Half and I have what I call “the fern fight.”

Or maybe it’s “plant politics” despite the absence of casting a vote or petitioning a cause.

Either way, there’s no bloodshed involved here, and at the end of the day no one comes away with a medal or monetary winnings or a position of prestige much less bragging rights based on the outcome.

This “fight” though, for lack of a better description, has been unfolding the past few years right around the time-change thing happening — the move that means, yes, we gain an hour by falling behind with our clocks during the first weekend of November, but it comes at great cost.

It gets dark really, really, really early, which means I get sleepy really, really, really early.

It is not my most productive season, I confess, its hallmark one of hibernating and hunkering down for a l-o-n-g fall-winter’s nap.

But I do have the presence of mind before that tick-tock tweaking to take stock one last time of all my summer plants, in particular my potted plants.

Now, granted, the potted plants that have had a place of honor on the back porch and elsewhere in the back yard flower beds are looking scraggly and are decidedly dusters.

The little wave petunias, for example, have basically waved bye-bye.

The impatiens have lost patience and said “see ya’!”

And the begonias are bygones, despite pep talks on my part for them to persevere.

Yes, I talk to my plants when I’m not talking to myself and other inanimate objects, and I think they appreciate the conversation. I know I do.

I take my plants much more seriously than ever before, mainly because coming to live with me is no longer a death sentence for them.

Plants actually thrive under my watch now, and I’m not quite sure why.

This includes the ferns on the front porch, the crux of this week’s column matter.

They are big and beautiful out there hanging around now with the pumpkins and corn stalks around the posts and the mums on the steps.

But it’s time to bring them in.

Some people buy hanging basket ferns in the spring and toss them come fall, their game plan to buy new ones come May and get on with things.

Me? I can’t do that with a clear conscience. That would constitute fern homicide.

Soooooo, I want to move the big beautiful fern hanging baskets into the only room in the house that really suits them and embraces them in all their splendor — the kitchen, the heart of any home, the place where there’s hustle and bustle, the spot where they like to be because these ferns are very sociable.

There’s really only one window in the kitchen that’s just right for them to hang near, but it is in an area close to the stove, which makes it tough to cook there, hence “the fern fight.”

Better Half is not thrilled with the idea of fighting his way through a fern jungle in order to cook some eggs or fry some pork chops.

But something’s got to give.

I can’t have the plant police after me.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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