In 2000, my husband and I bought a home in St. Lawrence Township, a wonderful sunny property sitting high on a hill overlooking the Minnesota River Valley. It spoke to us of endless possibilities. We wanted to create a large garden with thousands of flowers that would make the cares of the day fade away.
Most importantly, it would be a place where I could breed new kinds of daylilies. Each lily featured a Biblically inspired name like Crying in the Wilderness, All Things to All Men, Inscribed on My Heart, Fear Not, No More Tears, Child of Bethlehem, and Heartbeat of Heaven.
We designed the garden with concrete, handicapped-accessible pathways throughout and have a golf cart with extra seats for those unable to walk on their own. We’ve been privileged over the past 18 years to host thousands of visitors from across the country.
My relationship with The Lutheran Home Association began in 2001, when I received an e-mail from an activity coordinator at Kingsway Retirement Living. She hoped to bring residents to visit the garden. I’ve always looked forward to the bus arriving and team members carefully unloading its precious passengers.
One of my favorite memories was the resident who spoke fondly about attending the one-room schoolhouse located at the end of the garden. I was delighted to donate daylilies to be planted in Kingsway’s gardens and then donated to special THLA projects.
Most recently, I’ve spent time with TLHA to discuss ways to increase my giving, and I recently discovered an entry in my journal from August 25, 2013. I had been inspired to write down several pages of things for which I was thankful. One of the things was having Kingsway right down the road with team members who really care about the residents, if I am ever no longer able to live in our home. But for now, I will continue making new kinds of flowers with inspiring names and welcoming garden visitors to a little piece of heaven on earth.
Want to give like Karol? Our ministry relies on charitable support to advance the work of caring every day of the year for the people entrusted to our care. To donate, visit tlha.org or call us at (952) 873-4744.
Longtime TLHA donor and volunteer Karol Emmerich shared this personal story.