Garland Nursery is 75 years old this year. Hard to believe. I don’t feel that old. Even my dad, who is two years older than the nursery doesn’t feel that old. At least he doesn’t act like he feels that old. I had a nice conversation with a customer the other day. He had the same mindset that I do. He said that most days he feels like he is 25. Most days I feel like my spirit is 21! I do have to make sure I say the adult age of 21. Truthfully, I probably feel like I am 18. My soul really feels ageless and I feel the same the same feelings, go through the same thought processes and have the same strengths/weaknesses as I have all along. In that way, I am ageless. (Of course, my body repeatedly and regularly informs me that I am not ageless. My body definitely has an age. And it is past its prime.) When I did some research and discovered that Garland Nursery is the same age as the Golden Gate bridge and Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge-suddenly I felt truly felt old. Obviously I haven’t been around all of those 75 years, heck my father is only 77 years old. But I’ve been around long enough to know, we’re not young. When you feel old, you suddenly realize-maybe I’m not hip…I don’t really know what’s going on in this world…I don’t know what is important, etc. So I am going to get very personal today and say that doesn’t matter. We’re all on this earth together. The young learn from the old and the old learn from the young. We all have value. I love and admire my mother. I could make fun of her, sure. She is getting older. But I am constantly amazed by her. She grew up with a two longs and a short phone and yet she can navigate the internet and our point of sale system. She isn’t as proficient as a twenty-something and I am often having to save her, but still…the fact that she e-mails multiple people at the same time and is able to look up information in our point of sale system is amazing to me. There is no fear. And for her, the basics are the same. She takes a phone call and wants to provide the caller with what they want to know-basic customer service. There is simply a different way of finding that information. She hears a great joke and wants to share it. Nowadays, the way to share that is via e-mail, but it is still connection. My belief is that the core values have not changed, just the means to sharing them, achieving them. I will step out and say I may be wrong. I may be totally misreading the new generation. However, I believe some things are universal. I think everyone wants to be valued. I believe everyone wants to feel a connection: to one another and to our world-nature. I think everyone wants to feel some measure of security and some sense of acceptance for who they are. Does that mean that everyone follows the same path? Is the same person? Even has the same values? Certainly, there are a lot of differences between each of us. All this philosophical thought led me down the path to wonder, as a business am I (as Garland Nursery) relevant to someone twenty years of age? The answer is, I’m not sure. Are we relevant to anyone? The answer to that is a decided yes. If we weren’t we would be out of business. In between those extremes lies the question, “Will we continue to survive?” Certainly there are many that have gone before us that have not survived. And survival of the fittest is the core of our belief as a nation. Those that don’t or won’t adapt go by the wayside. Tnose that don’t remain vital/viable disappear. I for one don’t want to disappear. I enjoy what I do. I may complain about it a lot but I really love it, I relish it, it is a passion. As an individual (not answering to anyone else), I believe that we need to be reminded of our connection to nature. We need to know where our food comes from. We need to know that the flora of this universe is important, that our survival as human beings is intimately connected to the survival of nature.
So what is the point to my rambling? I hope that what I have a passion for-nature, gardening, food, cooking and plants forms a connection with the next generation and the next. I hope that my business, perhaps a dinosaur, remains relevant and vital for those that follow me. I want to learn about new technology and spark that flame within myself. I want to share any knowledge that I have with someone else. I wish that I may share my passion with someone new.