A bittersweet day

Today was my last day. Yes, I knew it was coming but even so I find that I am a little sad at this day ending. I have worked for the last 8 winters at Arizona Christian University, although it was called Southwestern College when I started there. ACU is located in Phoenix, Arizona and it a small Christian University. They have expanded a ton over the past years and now offer all kinds of degree programs.

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8 years ago when I started working here I had no idea what the job would eventually entail. Here’s the “rest of my story” about this job.

First of all, I was actually a volunteer here for these past 8 winters. That started when my husband Kent and I parked our RV house on the campus along with several other volunteer couples. That first year Kent was to teach a course at the college and then take some students to Africa for a true missions experience, Even though never happened. Kent helped out at several events that first winter as well as being part of a missions conference that the school held for several years.

I started out by walking around the campus and seeing flower boxes that need tending. I asked if I could “dead head” the flowers. “I was told, ” Yes, anything you want to do , go ahead.” I also added some flowers that first year as the other flowers looked so pitiful. Well, that was the way I got my job. People started calling me the “Flower Lady” and the name and the job kind of fit.

The college allowed us volunteers to stay on the campus for certain hours of work for them.

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When the baseball field was put in we had to move as we were sitting on the place where the field was going to be built. So those that wanted to stay working for the school moved to a Mobile home community nearby and we were still able to volunteer at the college.

I have enjoyed the work of beautifying this campus. ACU is situated on about 9 acres. But when the flowers didn’t need attention I would look for bushes to trim and other jobs. I helped with painting projects or cleaning up the shop area etc.

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But my love was always for the flowers. Each winter as I returned I had to replant the flowers as they had died in the summer heat.

The pots when I returned looked like this.

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But I would get out my tools, my wheelbarrow and my bucket and go to work and plant new little plants.

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Then I would tend those little plants and make sure they got enough water and fertilizing when needed. You can see they were happy plants.

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And they would grow

 
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Here they were especially pretty

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Even when I was away from ACU, I would be studying how to make it more beautiful. This winter I was particularly excited to help get this herb garden put in for the kitchen. The managers of the kitchen Mary and Keith were also excited about it and so they actually did the planting. I am sure they will care for it.

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I have enjoyed the relationships that I have made over the years, with students, staff and other volunteers. I will try to keep in touch but I know that when we make a move it changes these relationships. Here a pic of some of the volunteers that have worked together for most of these 8 years. It has been a joy to know these wonderful Christian friends and co-workers

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I am happiest when I can work in the flowers and see them flourish. Over the years I have added many bushes that are doing well and that also gives me pleasure. Almost every day would find me by these planters in front of the dining hall as they needed the most care.

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So after 8 winters, I am leaving as we will be locating in another part of Phoenix next winter to get more involved in a church that we have started attending there. I am not sure what God has in mind for me to do next winter but I have known that He has wanted me to move on to something else. So it is with mixed emotions that I said goodbye today. I will miss the relationships with those I have come to love.

May God Bless all of you that I have come to know and love at ACU. And may God bless ACU.

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With Love and gratitude,

Jan “The Flower Lady”

for the Roaming Reimers

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