Flowers for Friends

I read one of my fellow blogger friends blog this morning and my heart goes out to her. She lives in Southern Minnesota in a rural community and they have lost yet another community leader to COVID 19. This flower is for her.

The news, from where I read it here in The Netherlands, looks looks bleak in the United States. Not that the virus has disappeared here, our numbers hover at over 10,000 cases per day, but the heartbreak I have heard and seen coming out of the USA is almost too hard to think about most days. Unemployment, families being evicted from homes, food insecurity are all very depressing. I pour myself into other things. I try not to think about the upcoming election.

Making signs for the garden where I volunteer.
Installed at the garden compost bins.

There are still good people doing good in the world and we all have to make sure we keep that focus.

There is a section in The Washington Post that highlights personal stories of survival the current crisis. Featured over the weekend was a fellow Minnesotan, a fearless woman who has almost single handed tackled a huge inner city problem of poverty. What she has accomplished in Minneapolis without the funds from the government or the United Way is close to miraculous. Mary Jo Copeland is one of those community heroes who selflessly tackles helping others to get through the difficult days. Years ago she founded Sharing & Caring Hands in Minneapolis. Determined, she started to help all in need even when she knew the task seemed impossible. I am sure it has been heartbreaking work and yet she doesn’t let the virus stop her from continuing her work, her passion. A true community leader, a lady who is determined to change her world one step at a time no matter how many people tell her it is not possible. Everyone could use a friend when they are in need of assistance and Mary Jo has been a friend to many in my home state of Minnesota over the years.

These late fall flowers are for Mary Jo and her endless determination against all the odds and obstacles.

White dinner plate dahlia still blooming here in North Holland

Life inches slowly along.

Fall is kale season Holland.

Today, I got an unexpected video phone call from Frankfurt, Germany. My youngest son is on his way through Europe for his job. He proudly told me that he helped an older German lady. He carried her bag up the four flights of stairs at the airport. My heart warmed that he showed kindness to someone and that he was willing to share it with his mother. I was sad that I was not able to greet him on this side of the ocean as he passed through. Sacrifice is hard.

End of season sweet pea blooms

I heard also this last week my oldest son, he was able to find employment, he had been unemployed since April. I have always been happy that he has his part time government employment to fill gaps but full time employment was welcome news. His wife, my daughter-in-law, is still working crazy long hours at the St Louis Hospital with limited staff to fill in their gaps caused by the crisis.

A burst of sunshine from this dahlia

The friends who I have made over these last few years of blogging and volunteering have continued to be a source of strength. From wonderful food creations, to comments on my blog, to navigating the new world of zoom together through several time zones, I thank each of you for your kindness, help, comments and for continued friendship.

Cheesecake a friend recently made and texted this photo to me. I was to determine if it was American quality without tasting. Hummm…yup! You owe me a slice!
Flowers to all my friends and family. Stay safe, stay healthy.


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