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The Gardener Wife Newsletter

Hi folks,

Well, we’ve made it to the end of 2020. Happy New Year! I hope your holiday celebrations have been joyful and refreshing despite probably being smaller this year. At least many of us could meet virtually through video conference calls with our friends and family.

2020 Gardening Recap

While 2020 was certainly a difficult year in many ways, it was a great year for gardening. Garden suppliers from all over reported a large increase in the demand for plants, seeds, and other supplies. As many folks had to stay home and some had more time on their hands, they worked on improving their home environment, both inside and outside. Sprucing up their gardens and/or creating new ones gave them extra living space during the quarantine—at least when the weather was nice. I myself finished the side yard garden I’d been working on for the last few years. Named the “Mackinac Island Garden,” this garden gave us a whole new room to hang out in. Plus, I won an award for it!

The largest increase in gardening was in my favorite sector: growing food. Empty store shelves inspired many folks to start their first vegetable gardens or to increase their already existing edible crops. Victory gardens are all the rage. I hope this trend continues! I’ll do all that I can to help everyone who is trying to grow their own food.

Announcing The Gardener Wife Website

Now as we look forward to 2021, I have a new resource to offer: my website, Before I announce it to the world, I’m giving you, my newsletter readers, the first look at it. There aren't many blog posts up yet—just a few that are based on my past newsletters. But I have the basic structure and design of the website all set up. Check it out and let me know what you think. You’re my kindest and most supportive audience, but please tell me what you really think. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you see anything that I should correct or that I could improve. I’m a gardener, not a web designer, and I could use all the help I can get.

I hope this website will become a resource that you use and share often. Don’t worry—I will continue to write these newsletters, and I’ll go back to my usual format next month. It’s just that now you’ll have another place where you can read some of my work and see what else I’m doing. Plus, the website will give you a way to search and find information that I’ve shared in past newsletters. You can use the “Search My Website” field to look up particular topics, or you could browse through one of the categories, such as EAT, for example.

2020 Personal Recap

Besides facing a worldwide pandemic, my family has had a lot of excitement this year. I’m going to close this letter by sharing the update that I sent out with our Christmas cards. As you read it, you may recall that I touched on these events in previous newsletters. In the March issue, as we all went into lockdown, I referred to our Taiwan and Philippines trip and shared the fun photo of me fearlessly ziplining in Pugad. (I may never go ziplining again though after learning that a guy in Tiger King lost his legs in a ziplining accident. Yikes!) While I didn’t focus on the wedding itself, I shared many garden party bridal shower details in the newsletters both before and after Number One Son’s wedding. Then Number Two Son’s senior trumpet recital got a mention in my October newsletter as well as in a couple of posts on social media.

2020 Chez Rea Update

It’s been an exciting year of many transitions. In the beginning of the year Stan and Debbie traveled to Taiwan and the Philippines, and thankfully we stayed one step ahead of the coronavirus. (That’s the China Sea behind us in the upper left photo.) In the spring we enjoyed having both boys at home with us as our state went into lockdown. In the summer restrictions were loosened enough for Roscoe and Emily to adapt their plans and still have a beautiful wedding on July 18th. They’re living in Oak Forest, IL. Roscoe is the Pastoral Assistant at Hickory Creek Church in Frankfort, and Emily teaches third grade math in Manhattan, IL. In the fall, Silas returned to Cedarville University, where he gave his senior trumpet recital on Oct. 25th. And now Stan has accepted a buyout package from Ford and is retiring from the insurance business, effective Dec. 31st. Big changes ahead!

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8

2020 has indeed been a “year of drought”! Yet it has been a fruitful year, and we thank the Lord for His never-ending grace and mercy. Whatever comes in the  year ahead, may we all be like that tree, growing more deeply rooted in the Word of God (Psalm 1:1-3).

Stan & Debbie

The last event, my husband’s retirement, is what motivated me to finish designing my website. Among the big changes ahead for us is that Stan and I are both going to pursue Doctor of Transformational Leadership (DTL) degrees at Bakke Graduate University, starting this January. This program is going to be a big challenge. It’s been over 30 years since I did graduate level work! (I earned two masters degrees way back when.) Therefore I expect my writing and posting as The Gardener Wife to slow down. So that’s why I was determined to finish the construction of this website before the end of 2020. If I didn’t do it this year, it would never get done!

May you reach all your gardening goals, and may you be blessed with a happy and healthy New Year.

Digging it,

The Gardener Wife

Shop with The Gardener Wife

This letter may contain links to some of my favorite products. As an Amazon Associate, I earn–at no extra cost to you–from qualifying purchases made through those links. You can find more of my recommendations for books, garden tools, kitchen tools, and more at my Shop with the Gardener Wife page. 

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