When I was a young child in the early 60's, I remember how much I loved going to my maternal Grandmother's house. She lived in a small mobile home in a small NH town. In her living room was a double window facing a small clearing. The rail road tracks were on the far edge of the clearing. I could hear the train coming for what seemed like a long ways away and would stand in that window, waving to the train.
In front of her window was a low table. On that table was an amazing assortment of plants. I remember mostly African violets in every color and cacti in many species and colors. I can hear her telling my brother and I "don't touch the cactus, it will prick your finger!". Of course, we were so tempted and touched that cactus spike and did get a pricked finger :)
She had an incredible green thumb. She lovingly tended her plants and her home. Sadly, she passed away when I was just 12 but I have wonderful memories of her that I carry with me. One of them is our shared love of African violets (purple ones especially). I have many in my home. Some of them are over 20 years old. They continue to thrive and blossom, much to my amazement. No matter where I place them in any house I live in, they do well. I always have two or three that are blossoming at the same time all through the year. They add such color and brightness to my home. I like to think that's a part of her that lives on through me.
No cacti in my house - I don't do well with succulents of any kind. They always die......that and the fact I never did learn to keep my fingers away from the prickers :)