Ray’s Jade

I’ve always loved jade plants. When I had lots of house plants I found that my lovely jades weren’t demanding as many of the other ones.  If I forgot to water them, they still lived.

In the 70s I had a jade that I nursed back to life. I don’t remember why it was sick. This was early on in my plant care taking so maybe I had watered it too much. Even though it wasn’t real pretty, I planted it in a beautiful pottery container and kept it on the front porch in the summer. One morning I went out to find the container and my jade gone. I loved that beautiful piece of pottery – a real work of art – but I was more upset that they took my jade.

Anyway on with my story about Ray’s jade. Here is a picture of it.

Ray's Jade Plant
Ray’s Jade

This plant, the only plant I might add, lives in my woman cave/craft room during the winter. In the summer it goes out to live on the porch with Dave’s jades.

To give you an idea of how big this plant is – the trunk is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

I don’t really think it needs the support anymore! I have no idea when that dowel was added for support.

This spring Dave repotted and put it outside with his jade plants.

Ray's Jade
Ray’s Jade

So what’s so great about this plant?

In 2002 I visited my good friend, Ray, who at the time was living in Altadena, California. When we went outside to look at his backyard, I saw this huge jade. Sorry about the quality of this picture. This was taken back then with a film camera and was way overexposed.

mama jade
Mama jade

I was shocked to see a jade this big. She was absolutely huge! So I took a small cutting and carried her on the plane home to Indiana. And that’s the jade story.

But it’s more than just a plant. For me it’s all about this long relationship with my friend Ray who I met the first day of high school back in 1964. In homeroom, everyone was seated alphabetical so Ray was assigned the seat next to me. We became fast friends and continued our friendship through college.

After college, he left Indiana for Chicago and then finally ended up in California which he now calls home. But through all of those years he’s always keep in touch with me. I’ve visited him several times and we even went on a trip up the California coast together. His family is still in town so when he’s home he usually makes time to spend with me. I always look forward to “our” time together catching up. We rarely speak to each other between his visits, but we keep up with each other on Facebook and through email. When we do meet, it’s like time hasn’t passed. Yes, we are older and hopefully wiser, but it’s like we’ve not been apart.

Ray Hayes
Ray Hayes

When I married for the last time in 2007 I wanted Ray to be a part of this important occasion. It was so wonderful to have him there to walk me down the aisle.

Ray walking me down the aisle
Ray walking me down the aisle

So every time I look at this jade, I think of my dear friend Ray. Who would have thought that a high school homeroom seating arrangement would lead to a lifelong friendship?

It’s really comforting with all of the changes we go through in life, that there can be some constants. Ray, thank you for adding richness to my life. May we have many more years of friendship.