Nations, like gardens, need renewal, upkeep

By Normita Fenn
Published 9/20/2012 – Valley Journal of San Ramon Valley Times, a Bay Area News Group

Normita Fenn

For the past three years or so, I noticed that our rose bushes that used to be lustrous seemed to have lost their grandeur. At first I complained to my husband – Hey, not enough water, not enough fertilizer, wrong here, wrong there. Then I finally calmed down. I made my daily visits to look at the soil, checked the browning wilted branches, looked at the yellowing lifeless leaves and touched the flowers that lost their fragrance, from branch to branch.

I took charge. I watered and fertilized, root by root. I spoke. “Please come back,” I pleaded. Then slowly, with every passing day, one day at a time, I saw life. The tiny sprouts from the branches showed hope for life, new leaves of green greeted me, under the blue horizon the rosebuds appeared as though saying, “thank you for the tender caring heart.” There’s more caring needed for the roses, but signs of life shine and fragrance is back from branch to branch.

First Prize

For the risk of being too simplistic, I ask myself: if we think of our country in this context, will the lost aura and grandeur come back? That instead of complaining, can’t we work to get our country back, toward a more participative structure? To hold our politicians accountable for promises made to get elected? And for us citizens, are we willing to come out from darkness and let our voices be heard? Though the prosperity of the past is but a memory, are we open to make new memories for a future built by a nurturing people – together, from branch to branch?



Posted on Normita’s Notebook:

Normita Fenn studied journalism at University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
She earned her MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate UniversitySan Francisco. She
resides in San Ramon, California. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter:

23 thoughts on “Nations, like gardens, need renewal, upkeep

  1. Good Morning, Villagers…some high clouds on the move, otherwise it’s blue skies, highs in the low 80’s!

    Normita…I wish the gardeners of the world could take over government, it’s a wonderful comparison and so well written. Thanks for sharing it with us…it brightens up the day considerably and I love the color of that rose!

    Mary…we’re thinking good thoughts for you, I hope all’s well!

    Enjoy your last day of summer…

  2. Thank you for this thread Normita. It is a testament to the power of one. Because of your efforts the roses are thriving. We should not underestimate our ability to chip away at the decay in the national fabric and influence others.

    Mary, how is your stepdaughter?

  3. Hi villagers. We are home now. Spent the afternoon with my stepdaughter. She is in ICU, has under gone three operations. She has three machines monitoring her, with about ten bags of medicines, drugs being piped into her system. She is sedated, essentially on life support. Next week she undergoes another operation to cut a hole in her throat so that the breathing tube can be taken out of her mouth. Her heart is not working as it should, so they have her on a breathing machine. But, they say she may have turned the corner. Next week will tell the tale.

    Thanks Normita, fir the new thread. I love the words, and the sentiment. Good night.

  4. The buzz is strong about Hillary 2016. I think if she wants it, she will get a lot of support from both parties. We all know that the DNC will probably not be too enthused but they may not have a choice. Their hope and change guy just doesn’t get it. Too much divisiveness.

  5. Good Morning, Villagers…sunshine greets the day, highs warming to the mid to upper 80’s, expecting a breeze by evening!

    Mary…I’m glad you’re home safe and sound. My prayers continue for a speedy recovery for your stepdaughter…thanks for the update. Be sure to get as much rest as possible for yourself too…this is a stressful time and you need to be kind to yourself too.

    We have so many blessings…Enjoy your day…

  6. The 2008 and 2012 campaigns have permanently ensured that no one in this household will vote Democrat again after 30 years of voting. And we will never rely on a single news source again. I call it news by omission.

    I am angry that no one in the mass media is calling Susan Rice and many in the adminstration liars after last Sunday’s parade on the news programs insisting that the Libya raid was “spontaneous”. How many lies have we heard for 4+ years?

  7. Hello Everyone,

    AMEN to that Taylor! After all the lies we heard in the past few years, about our Hillary we have seen the light about just not believing what we hear from the so-called media.

    And i just sit hear and shake my head about how the Democrat Conv. they trotted out women to say oh be very scared of the GOP, well if you ask me nobody can hold back women as bad as they did to Hillary! That was enough for my family!

    Mary….. Im praying for your step daughter! We love you and please stay strong!

    Normita i liked the post and it makes so much sense!

    Yes i think they need to push for BHO , records he is hiding something for sure and probaly way more than the American people would ever believe God help the USA!

    The kids had so much fun last night as the church had a campout sleepover and they had a ball!
    I still have to pinch myself that we are almost done with court!!

    Well i Love you all

    Yeri and The Village Kids

  8. Teri and The Village Kids, you rock the place when you come. We can hear your footsteps and your humming and singing praises. Just took so much time, but the end is almost near. Stay positive.

  9. Saw this on yahoo news. I hope Hillary runs in 2016. Read the full, short article.

    Bill Clinton: Hillary qualified to run for president, but has no idea what she should do next. Bill Clinton says Hillary Rodham Clinton is qualified to be president, but he says she’s tired after serving as secretary of state and he has no idea what she may do.

    The former president tells CBS’ ”Face the Nation” that she wants to take some time off and may write a book.

  10. America’s hidden unemployed: too discouraged to count
    Accdg to the article, “Economists, analyzing government data, estimate about 4 million fewer people are in the labor force than in December 2007, primarily due to a lack of jobs rather than the normal aging of America’s population. The size of the shift underscores the severity of the jobs crisis.”–business.html

  11. We are having a beautiful fall day that still has touches of summer in it. But we are getting our firewood today. Enjoy the day.

    Teri, are the kids picking out or making their Halloween costumes this year?

    Normita, the DNC prevented Hillary from running in 2008 so I hope she concentrates on herself when she steps down from SOS. It is truly a joke when the party leaders defend their stand on women’s rights. The Republicans did not defeat Hillary but the Democratic party did. They were afraid to give her a chance due to the Clinton baggage which makes Bill’s support of the president ironic.

  12. Hello villagers. My stepdaughter is still in ICU, but it appears is making some progress. My husband visits every day. They are still performing cleaning operations, putting her under every two to three days, to get rid of all possible traces of infection around her organs. Tomorrow they will give her nutrition, she has only been receiving dextrose liquids. Her heart still has not recovered from severe shock, it changed shape. Hopefully they will decide this week that she can come out of ICU.

    My other stepdaughter left today. She is doing much better, health wise. Seems much more relaxed, no signs of stress. She is happy now, she is pregnant. I am going to be a step grand mom! Maybe pregnancy will change her. She cannot use the sleep apnea device to sleep at night, but she slept fine here without it. Her job at school ( an overflow supplemental teacher ) is much less stressful, chosen by the schools by design for her because she was sick last year.

    In regards to the election, all I read is how Romney has already lost, garbage! What do you guys think?

    • So glad to hear your stepdaughter is improving. My thoughts are with her.
      Oh, we can call you Granny soon! 😀

      I think the polls are wrong and Romney is doing better than the media is letting on.
      We have the first debate a week from Wednesday. I hope Mitt wipes the floor with BO.

  13. Good Morning, Villagers…looks like a beauty, loads of sunshine, highs in the mid to upper 80’s!

    Mary…I’m happy to hear that your stepdaughter is recovering, the pace may be slow, but that gives her plenty of time to heal…our thoughts are with her and her family. Congrats on the grandma to be business…I think it’s the greatest job in the world…I have always looked forward to it…and I still do.

    Why should we start believing the media now…I think Romney’s in good shape! The polls are weighted to reflect a stronger than realistic turnout by Democrats…that’s not what I see happening…the Republicans are fired up to vote and the Democrats, not so much. The media will do whatever it takes to promote Obama…they are no longer the 4th Estate…they are propoganda!! I’ve read a couple articles on property that the Obama’s are looking at for retirement in Hawaii…they have wealthy moguls doing the groundwork for them.

    We’ll see how Pres. Obama does without his teleprompters…but, the whole process favors him…the moderator will be on his side…we’ll see how that goes.

    Enjoy your day…

  14. Yes, Mary, the process is a slow one and everyday is a serious when you are dealing with internal infection. And after such a long illness be watchful of mental well being as well. Both the body and mind need time to recover. Congatulation Grandma. It is also so nice to hear that the pregnancy has been a boost to all.

    I almost lost my lunch when I heard a clip from the View where BO referred to himself as “eye candy”. My husband listened to Romney’s speech at Clinton’s Global conference today and was impressed. Did any of you see it?

  15. Good Morning, Villagers…fog slips back, mostly sunny with some high clouds on the cruise, high of about 83 degrees!

    Taylor…I had to hear that twice before I believed it…”eye candy”…he is over-full of himself and I don’t see how people can miss that…he thinks he’s all that and more!! I have never liked people like that…it’s all about him, wherever he goes 24/7. I didn’t hear that Romney speech. I am tired of hearing people on both sides of the aisle run down everything Romney and Ryan are saying and doing though…enough! I am also disgusted that Obama had time for “The View” but not to talk with foreign leaders in town for the United Nations. There is no leadership…there is only a campaign…he should be ashamed to take home a salary.

    Go…I think the stakes are sooooo high for the debates…but, what makes us think the media is going to give any credit to Romney if he wins the debate next week. People have to step away from the media barrage…they are in attack mode for “the one”…they will say and do anything to make sure he wins.

    I still have faith…41 days to go…

    Enjoy your day…

    • I believe people watching the debates will come to their own conclusions. Anyone who is following the campaigns have enough information to make the right choice.

  16. Good morning. We are finally get some autumn weather. It feels great.

    The media is abhorrent, gross negligence in reporting, everything they can do to get Romney dowm. I have never seen the likes of it. It is totally disgusting. I hope they all go out of business. And of course, no reference to the garbage lies that potus is spoutung.

    Well, they are organizing demonstrations in Dearborn Michigan to prohibit freedom of speech. They want blasphemy laws to protect their prophet. Americans are falling asleep again. Wake Up America.

    You have to watch TheProject, a Beck documentary on the Muslim Brotherhood. What he says is true. When I studied Islam at UCLA, I saw the articles detailing the Brotherhood plan for infiltrating the US. It is absolutely true. Chilling! It frightened me when I first read them. Of course, the UCLA liberals pooh poohed my research as based on silly articles on the Internet!

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