"... Upholding the Traditions We Have in America"

"The appreciation and kind thoughts will last much longer than the vegetables and my health will continue to be refreshed by all three!"   

Row Markers

Americans are famous worldwide for helping our neighbors out.  Find a tsunami, earthquake or a camp for the victims of war and you will usually find American personnel, supplies or donated equipment; sometimes all three.  We give through our churches, the Red Cross and many other non profits and our military forces are usually at the forefront of overseas efforts.  At home, neighbors and families can be seen doing the weekend projects that often end in refreshments or even a barbecue at this time of the year. 

Team Depot
Last week, some fantastic folks from Home Depot volunteered their time and energy to help this veteran put in his vegetable garden.  We were totally in awe of their efforts and hard work must be their middle name.  They came to help because we have been battling sarcoma cancer (my lovely wife/caregiver and myself) for four years and the chemotherapy treatment this winter and early spring left me feeling a bit winded (quite literally short of breath).  The Home Depot Foundation with their hashtag "#SpringIntoService" continues to focus on veterans and what an effort it is.  They have committed to spending over $80 Million over 5 years for veteran housing needs.  In 2011, I had the distinct pleasure of being a volunteer and wearing an Orange shirt while working on a veteran's housing area and park in Atlanta, GA.  Several military bloggers were invited to attend the event and share the story with our military followers.  My connections just made the help we received more fun. 

Roy at work
The day started with one Home Depot associate driving his tractor and manure spreader from his farm 45 minutes away (at the tractor speed) to place "fertilizer" on the garden area.  A few moments of laughter as several volunteers elected to move quickly after they saw how far the spreader was throwing the "fertilizer".  I guess that attitude of enjoying the moments of helping us was just so touching.  Truly as Deb said,  "I feel like Team Depot is upholding the traditions we have in America - the best of what we have" (The Sun and News, May 24, by Julie Makarewicz).

Nate after a tree stump
After they had removed several tree stumps and spread the manure, the team rotor tilled the garden area and put up a very professional looking and effective fence.  They edged the entire garden with marigold plants and wood chips and then put in the vegetables and seeds.  Nate Knowles, the Kentwood store manager and Scott, the project manager said it would be done in a day but the work seemed daunting.  But by 4 PM the garden was in, the equipment had been loaded, thank yous and hugs shared and memories made.  Now we enjoy a lifetime of blueberries and rhubarb and a summer and winter of fresh, canned and frozen vegetables.

The appreciation and kind thoughts will last much longer than the vegetables and my health will continue to be refreshed by all three!  
Garden Today

Garden Today

The local store in Grand Rapids MI (Kentwood #2715) donated garden items to put in the garden.  About 160 volunteer hours and $$$$ in plants, seeds, fencing, other garden products like gloves, equipment use, etc. Their vendors from Bonnie Plants, Cottage Gardens and Micandy Gardens provided plants and seeds for the garden.  Midwest Air Technologies donated fencing to keep out deer, rabbits, etc.

Putting up signs to identify vendors who helped with garden

A Big Thank You to:
and anyone I missed
See more pictures at:

Home Depot "Springs Into Action" Wordless Wednesday 

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