Winter Solstice

It’s been a little quiet at my pay-the-bills job (shout out to @Tierneycreates for the moniker). I work for a not-for-profit on a college campus, and all the students and faculty have left for the holidays. This makes for some looonnnng days.

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Just a quick mid-morning nap.

Luckily, there is a greenhouse on campus that comes equipped with little benches and tables. This respite from the cold and snow provides a needed vitamin D fix on winter days –and keeps my creative soul nourished on even the most dull work days. My boss is an excellent gentleman: he knows that marketing types are most productive when they are not sitting behind their computer all day, so today, instead of taking a nap, I headed to the greenhouse for some brainstorming.

There, I discovered new life and it makes me hopeful for spring on this darkest of days of the year.  I started out in the desert room. It is full of cacti and succulents. I wish I could name them.

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The desert room has some beautiful blossoms.

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I have no idea what any of these plants are, but they are life-affirming.

The next room is a planting room. In it grows a cherry tomato plant about the size of a golf cart. I have to confess to stealing a tomato and popping it in my mouth this morning. The taste exploded in my mouth. It was incredibly delicious. I never, ever eat store-bought fresh tomatoes in the wintertime because they taste like red plastic. This was the real deal. If I had to choose a last meal, I think it would include a sun-ripened fresh tomato sandwich.

 

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Site of future breakfasts.

Next, there is a tropical room. It is lush and green and it is home to a small waterfall and some cute koi. This room is great for my sinuses. The thick, rich air is alive with promise.

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The bright colors are mesmerizing.

Finally, the greenhouse has a hydroponics lab. This morning I discovered that students are working on a strawberry growing project. Previous years have hosted lettuces and herbs. I’ll have to keep a close eye on this inventory, in case it ripens while everyone is gone!

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This reminds me — I can’t wait to see how mom reacts to Cindy’s Strawberry quilt on Christmas Day!

Just a few more hours and I’ll be on my own Christmas break. I hope this tour helped you through the winter solstice.  Happy shortest day of the year!

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