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The Present: July 10

Today is my monthly Garden Club meeting. We are each to bring an herb horticulture specimen because our speaker’s topic tonight will be herbs. I love gardening, and have spent much of my free time since I was a child trying to grow things. I think plants are fascinating and joke that I must have been a bee in a former life because I can’t get enough of flowers. Alas, however, I am a terrible gardener. Most of the seeds I plant never sprout, and the plants I buy to plant wither and die. I also joke that if I had invested all the money I have wasted on plants and seeds that I bought hoping to have a bountiful harvest of food or flowers, I would be quite well off by now. As I said, I have been a gardener wanna-be since I was a child. I remember buying seeds with my allowance. As a teenager I bought beautiful houseplants. No ROI with those purchases.

So I joined the Garden Club to learn the secrets of gardening. I realize I may never be able to grow things, because it may be that it is a gift, a talent from God. My grandmother could throw seeds on hard ground and have beautiful tomatoes in 10 weeks (an exaggeration) but I did not inherit that talent. Even if I am never able to grow things, I still enjoy learning about them. It is good for my brain to remember the names of plants and the qualities associated with them, like those associated with this one that was just given to me: “New Guinea Impatiens, likes Eastern sun, requires 4 to 6 hours of shade. Keep soil moist but not soggy. If the soil dries out, the plant will wilt and lose flowers and will not recover from repeated wilting. Bring indoors if the temperature goes below 55 degrees. Benefits from light fertilizing with a water soluble fertilizer every two or three weeks if grown in a pot, or a slow release fertilizer if planted in the ground.” (from the Home Guides website by Demand Media)

Gardening is also good for my body. Digging in the dirt is great exercise. So is pulling weeds, using a wheel barrow, moving rocks, etc. A good friend from our church gave us a pond that she no longer wanted to maintain in her back yard. My husband and I are going to get all kinds of exercise installing it! Perhaps I will be more successful growing water plants than I have been with above the ground plants. I am excited by the idea of watching koi fish swimming among the water lilies! A waterfall feature would be fun, too. We are still in the planning stage and have other obligations demanding our time until fall. The soil is rock hard this time of year anyway. Too much clay.

The women in my garden club are such an inspiration and role model to me. They are truly aging with grace. I am not only learning how to garden, but how to age gracefully following their lead. I am blessed with family and church members who have shown me the way, also.

Gardening seems to be a science and an art, like the medical practice. Our former agrarian society has progressed from there to an industrial and now a technological society, so that now, we don’t have the knowledge to grow things to feed ourselves as a family unit. I often wonder what would happen if we had some man made (war) or natural disaster (massive volcano eruption) that would make it a matter of survival for us to grow our own food as a family. Could you do it? At this moment, I could not. But our forefathers (and foremothers) could, and did. I have such awe and admiration for the pioneers that settled this area before us. I am reading the history of The Woman’s Club (thank you Janice, for the book loan) and marvel at their fortitude also. Can you imagine that in 1896 they ‘won’ the ‘right’ to vote on school boards, but then had the ‘privilege’ taken away from them a few years later? Of course, how they had time for school boards while maintaining a household without electricity or running water, central heating and air or automobiles and all the other modern day conveniences is a mystery to me. Perhaps only the wealthy women with servants had the time for serving on school boards. It was years later that all women could serve on the school boards and have their vote counted. Of course, women were given the right to vote in national elections 1920. Funny how they call it women’s ‘suffrage’. I am sure they did suffer.

I love history. Can you tell? It gives new meaning, depth, and understanding to our present experience to know the past. We are making history each moment that we live of course, and I have hopes that the history of caring for our frail and elderly seniors improves from this year forward. I believe we are on the brink of a new dawn in long term care services.

Grace Place will be opening soon, God willing,  and when it does, it will change the way seniors age in place forever.We applied for and were approved for a loan for the start up expenses through the Small Business Administration. We had hoped to lease the building in which to conduct the business of Grace Place. Now the building is for sale, which has created a delay.

The bankers who are responsible for small business private loans and Small Business Administration loans at the bank I am working with met me at the property that we desire for a ‘walk around’ to see if the property would meet their standards. It did.  The next step is to find out if we qualify for a loan to buy the building. Please pray that we do.

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