Today is Poinsettia Day.

One of my favorite plants of all time is the poinsettia.  For some reason, unknown to me–except for my love of the plant–poinsettias survive under my care longer than almost any other plant.  Surviving through the Christmas season.  Brightening dull or even dark winter days.  Finally losing their brilliant “leaves” after several months (one kept its red for more than 4 years, and grew into a bush that took up the whole corner of my dining room)  only to turn red and pink (on the same plant) the following year–usually mid-February.

No darkness from 5pm to 8am.  No holding back the water.  No forcing them to do anything.  They can be counted on to rebloom in my home the following February.

At my post office, there are two poinsettias, with green bracts, labeled “Charly Brown plants.”  They are a bit scraggly.  One is about 6 years old with spindly stems and small green leaves.  In mid-January, this plant gets a few small red leaves.

And through much of this day I have pondered why I enjoy them.

These cheery flowers share their joy and gladness by producing brilliant red and pink  foliage–without sun because they are in my home.  Often without much light because of the grey days outside.  Without warmth because my dining room has an enormous 12 X 12 foot window that renders the dining room inside almost the same temperature as outside–an average between 25 and 40 degrees through December.  [Warmer this year with 55 and 70 degree days for much of November.

The plant sitting in a position of honor this Christmas season has green leaves–waiting for a red plant to befriend it.  But come February–red and pink leaves will appear.

What if…I could predict the success rate for your hard-to-find ancestors the same way I can predict the color of my Christmas plants? 

What if…I could develop a checklist or a comparative form that would allow me to plug in what you know about the ancestor and what I know about the background and setting of that ancestor’s life and predict how much research would be needed to prove the generations?

What if…

Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  Stay tuned!  Checklists and special forms are my forte.  And get yourself a poinsettia to celebrate the occasion.


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