Valley Gardening: I am thankful for …

As we end this year, I have to be thankful! No matter what happens to me and/or my family I know others that have it worse. I celebrate my life, and those folks who support me, and my projects! Your support means more than I can say.

For instance, I give thanks to the mom who gives me $300, even though she is dealing with problems of her own—and won’t let me use her name. And I give thanks to the couple who brought in a bag of stuffed animals to give to those in need. I chose Moonbeam, a little girl in our community, who will undergo surgery on the 5th, to remove a lung tumor. Moonbeam and her sisters did not need all the stuffed toys so if you need some, please come by[1].

I give thanks that I have known the Sanchez Family for many, many years. I actually babysat Charlie—can’t remember how many years ago that was. Peyton has begun a new infusion chemo in addition to the oral treatment he is now taking. The Sanchez family is hoping that this treatment will give Peyton some better, stronger days ahead. A very simple thing to pray for! Peyton remains the hero he has always been!

I am thankful for the folks that brought in/donated another $670 to the SLV Cancer Relief Fund! If my math serves me right, that makes it $3,470 that has been given to our Valley neighbors, friends and families. With the world in a tailspin around us, with the drug problems reaching epidemic numbers—even in the SLV, it is heartwarming to see so many folks give to others. There is hope, I believe.

I know that Jaiden Rogers’ mom Natalie is beginning the overwhelming chore of raising more money for her son’s medical bills. What else does a mom do? I will be talking with Natalie soon, to see what we all can do. I will keep you posted.

This past week has been a crying kind of week, beginning with the death of Jesse Russell on Christmas morning. I didn’t know Jesse extremely well—only enough to let him win my money in Texas Hold’em a few times. I never could figure out his strategy in wagering. Bordering on crazy sometimes, but he managed to win over me—so what does that tell you about my wagering. Jesse’s parents, Steve and Mary, were and are a huge, HUGE part of Jesse living to 32 with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. More perfect parents could not have been chosen to take care of Jesse and his older brother Nick. I have all the respect in the world for Steve and Mary and the entire Russell family and all the friends/caretakers who learned what a great young man Jesse was over the years. He will be missed.

It was only a week or two ago that I was asking friends about a poker game during the holidays. It seems like that was our tradition. I waited too long and our next game will be held without Jesse. Is there someone in your family, neighborhood, nursing home, or wherever who would appreciate a call TODAY?  It only takes a few minutes, maybe an hour.

Bonnie Hearne passed away the day after Christmas, leaving a huge void in the music scene in Taos and way beyond. Partner in the Bill and Bonnie Hearne duo, they originally played at some of the early Sunshine Festivals—probably back in the 70’s. They have been friends ever since and Bill has played a number of times at Society Hall. His next show will be in April, I believe, and Bill says “if I don’t keep pickin’ Bonnie will kick my behind” or something like that. All our warm thoughts and prayers and hugs go out to you Bill.

I need to also mention Fred Fredericks who passed away on Christmas Day. I liked Fred because he liked the letters I wrote in the paper. AND, because he was such a supporter of Society Hall. He and Charlotte often came to concerts, and I think the last three times he slipped me a hundred dollar bill “for the roof project.” Thank you Fred—we still have your ginger ale in the fridge.

More gardening ‘stuff’ with the coming of the new near. Be safe, be smart this New Year’s Eve. And again, thank you! Folks just brought in another $128 for the SLV CRF!