Greencroft’s Friendly Culture

I was pleased to learn that croft is defined as a kitchen garden.  A kitchen garden is small, productive, probably organic,  and friendly.  I am told that some elderly people resist going to greencroft because they fear losing control.  When I first went to Greencroft I knew I had to give  control to others.  But, a gentle angel in the form of a social worker questioned me about my preferences:  Did I prefer to choose my own clothing?  Etc?   Control was given back to me as I was able to exercise it.

IMG_0109Since coming home I was informed by a TV special of the value of friends to ill persons.  I know that is true.  A former colleague from Sarasota and a friend and distant relative from Forks Mennonite came frequently to visit and pray with me.   My friendly neighborly friend kept me supplied with  beautiful bouquets from her garden like the Jerusalem Artichoke bouquet on the right.


Some member of my family came daily to sit with me.  This included Conrad who often came after a full day of work as a mechanic.

IMG_0105The nurses, attendants, and therapists who I call Angels were all friends.  One attendant brought his greyhound dog into the nursing home to be friendly with Greencroft’s most disabled inhabitants.

This dog was only a year and  a half old and had never engaged in a race. I saw another pug-like dog.  He kicked his leg vigorously when I scratched his side.

Greencroft’s Angels came in all genders, all colors, and even as animals, birds, and fish.  Rhoda and I and “Joy” and her Dave experienced Greencroft as a place of friendship and care.

IMG_0106My special friend “Joy” lives within walking distance of room  508 in Gables.  She visited me almost every day.  When negotiating the privileges and boundaries of our friendship we promised to pay regular visits if either of us were in a hospital or an institution like Greencroft.  We did not know who would be the first to go to a place of special care.


“Joy” did more than visit me.  When I was able go outside with a walker, she took me for walks in the Indiana sunshine in one of  Greencroft’s court yards.   She took me to Sunday School and to Sunday dinner at Rachel’s home.  In the afternoon we visited Calendar Garden.  We were in her car and she was the driver.  We neglected to get the GPS from my car, ventured into the country and we got lost.  A call to Eldon got us directed home to Greencroft.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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