I have my own story, a strange story of a unusual reunion.
When we moved to Florida, Roxy thought it would be nice to make our screen porch a bit tropical. We went to a craft store that was going out of business and bought an awful fake palm tree. It looked fake, it was heavy, but it was cheap. We lugged it home.
It sat on our screen porch through seasons of pollen, years of airborne swamp scum and three episodes of hurricane blown dust. It grew evil and filthy. After years of service, it had to go.
So we cleaned it up and put it out along with a clothing donation to Goodwill. The truck came by, the worker got out, and as he lifted the heavy tree with the concrete base, he dropped it, breaking the pot. He told us that he couldn't take it if it was damaged. The fake tree in a concrete slab stayed on our porch.
We got an idea. What if we were to take it somewhere and put it into the landscaping? Would anyone even notice?
Late one night we put the tree in the back of my pickup and drove to Don Julio's Mexican Restaurant by Oaks Mall. I took the tree out of my truck and put it into the landscaping, the cement base buried deep in the groundcover. It totally fit. Nobody would ever notice.
And nobody did. We'd drive by and see that stupid tree, standing majestically as the cornerstone of the landscaping. Its gently wafting palm fronts stood as a focal point, waving to us as we drove by.
But Don Julio's was short lived. It took two hands and one foot to count the Mexican restaurants in Gainesville, FL, and Don Julio's was destined for failure. It closed, and the site was demolished, only to give rise to BJ's Brew House a few short month's later.
The artificial tree was gone.
Slash-cut to 2011. A former student makes a visit to UF and we go out for dinner at my favorite restaurant-- the Top. The place is busy and bustling, and we are lucky to get a table for two near the kitchen. As the conversations wear on I notice a familiar sight over her shoulder. Upon closer inspection I see an artificial tree, the broken concrete base.... it was THE tree, alive as it ever was in my favorite restaurant.
I'll never know the events that took it from a defunct Mexican restaurant to the Top. Probably best unknown. But I do like to visit my stupid artificial tree every time I go there. I just saw it again tonight, told the story, and got a good laugh.
I wonder where it will go next...
Reunited, and it feels so good...