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  • Dr. Stuart P. Stofferahn

Day #17: The Garden

Day #17:

Another appointment at the VA today, but I started the day with a game of cribbage with my friend, Stan. And it just so happened that when pulling up on my bike, I ran into a couple friends with whom I served in the military – Byron and Jennifer. Besides being wonderful people all three, they are now all part of our donor family!


I chose (on purpose) to ride my bike down the Mopac bike trail for my trip home. I knew I could catch the bus either on 27th street or on Vine, and now that I knew where the trail took me, I could spend a little more time enjoying the scenery.


I’m glad I took the trail.


I came upon this gorgeous back yard garden full of flowers, plants, and vegetables. At first, I just rode by. But I stopped about 500 feet down the trail, turned around, and went back to take a closer look. People are sometimes hesitant to chat with a guy dressed in a green bowtie and red jacket, but this lovely lady tending the garden didn’t have a problem chatting about her beautiful garden at all.



92 years old, been tending the garden for 45 years. Every year, she starts over, and every year, it’s a new vision – although there are ALWAYS garlic and tomato plants. Amazing.


I spent the rest of my time riding home thinking about that garden. I wondered about the passing of time and the amount of life journeyed in that garden. In 45 years . . . no doubt children, grand-children, love, loss, joy, sorrow . . . all packed into chili made with perfect tomatoes, delicious shrimp scampi complimented with home-grown garlic, and tables decorated with flowers picked from the back yard.


I have come to expect the unexpected during this little experiment. I look forward to stopping by many times this summer to see how the tomatoes are progressing.


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