Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sarah's Garden

For the minions (all three of you) who read my blog and don't happen to know Sarah, I need to give a bit of background for this post.
Sarah Jean Creswell was a good friend of mine for close to 24 years. Until July 23, 2006 when she succumbed to a sudden and very unexpected illness. She was a beautiful person and I miss her dearly. Among her many talents was that she was the kind of teacher we all want our kids to have. She had spent many hours developing a grant proposal to develop a garden in the front of her school and was awarded the funding just a few months before her death. Sarah loved gardening and she believed firmly in the importance of taking her kindergarten students into the world outside the classroom. So, they were going to work on this project that fall. As a testimony to the wide-ranging impact she had on students and families, the parents of many of her her students carried on the garden project even though she was gone and completed it just recently. This past Saturday, they and some of the school staff held a dedication ceremony, honoring Sarah's legacy and celebrating the new welcoming addition to the school's front yard.
The Oregonian had a short feature article about it a couple days later: "Teacher's Magic Sows School's New Garden".

A large group of friends, family and Atkinson families and staff turned out to honor this wonderful teacher, my friend. Here are a few pictures from the dedication and the gathering with Jeff's family afterwards.

A couple of handsome cowpokes just off the range for the dedication of granny's garden.
Sarah's students - two years later - singing a song she taught them: "Inch by Inch"
Sarah's son with one of her grandsons. Easy to see why Uncle Joel is a favorite. (not to mention that he is in town for a short visit from grad school in Madison.)
Two dudes with the same profile. (Like father, like son?)
Aunt Katherine scores the red hat from one of the cowpokes.
The students made flags to celebrate the garden dedication. The garden has a clothesline for just this purpose.

Party after the ceremony at our house with all the family and those of us who qualify as "family". Here is Jeff with his mom, niece-in-law and daughter Katherine.

Attaining an even more elevated status in the eyes of the '4 and under' crowd was Joel's new girlfriend, Sybil.

Jennifer and Ian (parents of those cowpokes)
Not sure what Ian was so busy writing during the party - maybe composing another Portland song for his "One Year of Portland Songs Blog"?

Some party folks wear a lampshade to get into the spirit of things. Graham found that the nice bright red colander seemed to do the trick for him.

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