Who's bringing the car around?

I hope someone will take pity and give me a hint as to the identity of this small ornamental tree now having these rather exotic looking blooms.  The central part resembles small yucca blooms, while the long red thingies look like mimosa eyelashes gone extreme.  I'll be pretty embarrassed if the answer is something obviously Texan, like a mesquite.  One nurse said she thought it was a mesquite, but she wasn't a native, either.

Dad was very anxious to go outside today, although he insisted on two blankets on his chest and legs.  The temp in his room reminded me of erupting sunspots, but he was chilly.  He self-propelled his wheelchair until he ran aground in the grass.  The sun felt good to him.
"Okay, I'm ready.  Let's go.  Who's bringing the car around?"

"Aaaaauuuuhh, nobody.  We aren't going in the car."

"I'm ready to leave.  NOW."

"I understand, Dad.  I do."

"What's the plan?  Who's bringing the car around."

"Well, Dad, we just are where we're going to be, so let's enjoy the sun."

Ever since Dad decided he was adopted and living in the parsonage, he's been trying to find a way out.  He kept phoning me at work Monday wanting to know when I would come pick him up "at the church".  By the time I arrived at 3:45 he was about to come out of his skin, furious, violent, endangering himself and others.  If I'd had a taser, I might have used it.  Cooler heads gave him some Adivant. 

Over the hour and a half it took Dad to relax and become dopey/groggy, he kept asking me the name of "that retreat on 70th" where I used to meet him.  Mystified, I went through names of golf courses, parks, pizza restaurants, hospitals, churches, assisted living, and high schools in Lincoln to no avail.  My seeming unwillingness to reveal the answer really ticked him off.

Unlike my time with Dad in the hospital after his second hip break in 2007, he was delusional, but not hallucinating.  He's come unhitched in time and space, and he is manic and aggressive.  He wants to sit at the bus stop and wait to be picked up, getting seriously pissed because I'm so inconsiderately late, but he just thinks we are all blocking him from getting to the bus stop.  He's not the charming yet suspicious guy who saw the little girl sneak into the picture show and steal all the candy just before he ripped out his IVs and chatted up the aide for a 2 a.m. sandwich.  These are distinctions I'd gladly have gone forever not perceiving.

© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

I was looking around on flickr for you. Most mesquite blossom photos had them open, as yellow puff balls. But I finally found some closed with some of those red tendrils poking out. So this may be a fancy red eyelash variety of mesquite!

Collagemama said...

Thanks for your search efforts. The ones from Odessa on flickr are the same kind of tree. Mesquite or not, it has a very Permian Era quality. I'll keep getting Dad outside to see what happens to the blooms.

Bluestem said...

Hi. That is a Mexican Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia gilliesii. It is not native to Texas, but does grow wild in some areas. I removed a 12 foot tall one from my garden this spring to expand my vegetable garden.

Collagemama said...


Rick said...

Actually this is a desert bird of paradise. The mexican birds will not grow in our area because it is too cold in the winter. I have one outside my kitchen window. You can buy them at Shades o Green in Frisco. Humming Birds love them. I've been importing mexican birds of paradise from Phx for years now. I have to keep it in my garage over the winter.

By the way it is related to the Mimosa.


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