About The River

Friday, September 13, 2019

Garden Angel

Hello Friends,
The photo above was taken in 2014. Goodness, can that  photo really be from 2014? Has that much time gone by? If you have been a long time reader of The River, you know about my garden mentor Marv. I met Marv back in 2010. We became fast friends and once he found out I enjoyed gardening, and I found out that he enjoyed gardening, well that was that, plant people!

Over the years Marv has shared his garden knowledge with me. We gardened together at the Community Gardens. I learned so much from him during those years.

He also played a few jokes on us.

He hung an orange on our tomato plant.

Marv hanging HUGE plastic bugs in our tomato patch.

Marv travels to Texas each November. He usually calls us after we get a big snowstorm just to rub in how he is sitting on the beach soaking in the sun.

So we made our own jokes up. We gave him these grapefuit snowballs when he returned one April. We did not want him to miss out on Wisconsin snow.
We rolled snowballs and colored them with food coloring and placed them in the freezer until our dear friend came back to Wisconsin.
Hurricane Harvey washed away his cabin, he was not able to return to Texas the winter of 2017. 
November of 2018 repairs were complete on Marv's cabin and at age 90 he drove down to Rockport, Texas and enjoyed the winter.  We had a winter to remember in 2019 with negative temperatures dipping down to -50 degrees. We would receive those phone calls asking how we were surviving the winter as he was sitting on the beach eating a fresh grapefruit.

The years continue to fly by. Marv saw Sam graduate and head into the Wisconsin National Guard. Marv is a Korean veteran. When Sam returned from training this May, Marv enjoyed sharing Army stories with Sam. 
During the summer Marv got very sick. He lost 17 pounds and it took him several weeks to gain back his strength. This past week he called me and asked if he could pop over to chat.

"I want to give you my garden angel, Carla. My garden days are coming to an end and this garden angel has been good to me and I want to pass this angel on to you."

Sam and I went to visit Marv this week. After our visit Sam shared with me, "Mom, I am worried about Marv, he just seems to have really declined this summer. I know you shared with me that you felt he was starting to decline, but I did not believe you until today, today I see it."

Marv taught me tips and tricks about gardening. He also taught me life lessons. He saw terrible stuff in Korea. He stood by both of his wives as they each got ill and passed away. He once shared with me that at one time he was so sad he was not sure if he could go on. Then he thought of his other family and fought back that sadness and continued on.

Take time to say "I Love You" to your family and friends today.




  1. Carla, I just cried about the angel...Marv loves you and knows you will cherish that angel. Give Marv a hug from us. I am glad your son visited with your gardening pal. That they shared time. Blessings to you sweet girl, xoxo, Susie

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  3. A beautiful post. I'm glad that Merv is giving you his little garden angel but sorry to hear of his declining health.
    He has lived a long life and has been generous to you with all his gardening knowledge. I hope that he still has some good years left in him. A very touching story.
    Hugs, Julia

  4. That is such a sweet gift he gave to you. I know you will treasure it. I will keep Marv in my prayers.

  5. Oh my. I am in tears now. So good to know how much you cherish him while he is here with you. You have written a wonderful tribute to him.

  6. I know you are recalling what a good friend Marv has been to you but it's clear you have been, and I'm sure will continue to be a good friend to him too. 90 is a great age to reach and have still been gardening. He knows you will treasure his angel and take good care of it.

  7. Oh Carla tears are flowing with how Marv gave you the angel. That will be such a precious keepsake to have and I bet it will remind you of the many gardening days with Marv. It is always hard to see someone decline. Prayers for Marv.

  8. Oh Carla... That man is a treasure and you have all made lasting memories together.
    Hoping for some more memories to be made. xo

  9. What a treasure God's given you both in the chance to know each other. Isn't it funny how some people just "click"? I love how gardening (and chickens) ;) bring such diverse people together!

  10. I am so sorry that Marv's health is declining.
    That is just so special that he has given you his little garden angel.

    My thoughts and good wishes.

    All the best Jan


High Fives from Wisconsin!