Goshen News, Goshen, IN

June 21, 2013

THE DIRT ON GARDENING: Take the time to honor those who inspire you

By TOM YODER
COLUMNIST

— I have many friends who inspire me in my efforts to contribute something of value to everyone who reads my columns. But once in a while someone comes into your life that makes a deeper impression.

I have an avid reader in the Greencroft complex who was brought to my attention by none other than my wife, who has a part-time position there.

Many times, throughout my wife’s day, residents approach her window inside the information center with questions pertaining to everyday activities throughout the complex, which she happily shares. She has gained many friends herself with this exchanging of information as she tries to make their sometimes difficult lives a little more joyful with kindness and joking. She loves the residents and they love her.



One day she was approached by a particular resident, who maneuvered throughout the aisles with a walker. She was seeking information. She had numerous issues of my gardening column stacked on her mode of transportation and didn’t hesitate to inform my wife that she dearly loves my column and that she doesn’t miss a single one.

When moved recently to another “wing” of the complex, I was told by my wife that she made sure “all” of the columns accompanied her to her new location.

It was about this time that I was working on publishing a book that includes many of my columns. When my efforts finally came to fruition, it was decided that my friend and avid reader had to receive a complimentary copy of the newly published book.

With book in hand my wife and I sought out her new address inside the complex. When she was located I noticed copies of my columns stacked on a table. With my book tucked behind me, I asked if she would like a compilation of them.



Somewhat puzzled, but with her usual friendly smile, I then presented her with my book “My Thoughts Exactly: The Dirt on Gardening.”

I think, with a tear in her eye (and probably mine), we hugged and she was very grateful for the gift. I asked if she would like me to sign it and she exclaimed “Oh, would you?!” A signature was made and a cherished reader made me the grateful one.

I get the “I see your face in the paper every week” or “I read your column all the time,” which I’m grateful to hear but to make someone’s later years in life a little more pleasant makes what I do all worthwhile.



Pat McKinney, it is an honor to know you. Your smiling demeanor and attitude is what makes this world a more pleasant place to live.

I love to make people smile and, hopefully, jog their remembrances of happy gardening moments of their own. After all, isn’t that what reading is about — remembering and replaying all of our past activities while at the same time experiencing newer things happening currently?

If reading my column brings pleasant remembrances and helps enlighten my readers to current trends then I have accomplished my goal.