I received this story from The Woodlands Cottage manager, Julie, in an email and I knew the second I read it that I had to share. Enjoy!
The Story of Kiely’s Market:
Long time resident, Dorris Kiely, was very special to The Woodlands Cottage. She was a Mother Hen to everyone and made sure that everyone was doing the right thing, eating well, taking their meds, baking, informing us when other’s had questions or concerns, but mostly importantly, telling us when we had done well. Dorris loved to be outside in the garden. She loved to listen to the birds, smell the flowers, and overall enjoyed mother nature. One of her greatest joys was when we had surprise cucumbers pop up in the garden last year. No one had planted them, the seeds were thrown outside with other “composite” to help some foliage we had transplanted from one location to another. Dorris loved the cucumbers and would go outside and point out the ones that were ready to pick.
After Dorris passed, her family asked about making a sizable donation to AutumnGrove. I informed them that we were not a 501(c)3 and therefore, would not be considered a tax write off. Instead, he sent an email to family friends letting them know that in lieu of flowers, they could send something to AutumnGrove, knowing it would not be a write off. Days later we received a check, with an accompanying letter, asking us to use the funds for activities or entertainment for the residents. That was a hard request for us to fulfill. How could you purchase anything that would be significant enough to honor a wonderful lady? Then it came to me….we needed a garden!
Everything started rolling along and this project turned into something where we needed a lot of people to help. We recruited the Student Council members from Bear Branch 6th Grade in Magnolia to start planting the seeds. Around 20 children came and spent time with each resident decorating flower pots, putting their names on them, and writing on a wooden stick what vegetables would come up! We planted a lot, assuming that several wouldn’t produce. Oh boy were we wrong! God obviously had his hand in this project because everything grew! Our garden was going to be plentiful! Next, we transplanted the produce into another bed and waited to see what would survive the transplant. We thought for sure we would lose a good chunk in the transport, but those veggies proved us wrong again. They all survived and flourished.
We are waiting to see what we harvest next, but we know that Dorris will be looking from above to make sure we pick them at just the right time. If you are in the area, please feel free to come by and see the progress of Kiely’s Market.