Senior Connections Senior Connections Nov. 2018 - Page 11

PUMPKINS from Pg 1 to adult, so that no one went without a violin. They added a “music room” with space for the Steinway grand piano acquired by Helen from one of her employers. The music room also houses a part of their book collection, which further extends to nearly every other room in the house. The size of the book collection has been estimated at more than 5,000 volumes. In addition to sharing the work of the pumpkins, the Nyquists passed on their love of books and music to the following generations. Caring deeply for others Nyquist remembers that when he was young, his family took in a small boy whose entire family had died in a tuberculosis outbreak. A couple of years later, they took in another orphaned boy because “that is what people did back then.” In future years, his parents took in foster children when the Hennepin County system was fi lled to overfl owing. Nyquist recalled that they always had “extras”, and all were treated equally as siblings. Dan and Helen continued to open their hearts and home to others in need over the years. Nyquist recalled that once, many years ago, one of Helen’s hospital patients had a very serious surgery that left him in need of lengthy and concentrated rehabilitation care. The man had no family or other potential care givers. Helen’s solution was to bring him home so that she could give him the care he needed. He stayed with them for many months of recovery, even as she was busy raising children, working, and tending the needs of her own family. Nyquist inspecting one of the violins. At a different time, they counseled and provided support for a blind Minneapolis man who was struggling to fi nd a productive path in his early 20s. The Nyquists thought he would fare better in the country, and indeed he did. He landed a job that eventually became the starting point of his career in a boys’ home. Currently, they provide land and space for a Hmong family to have a sizable vegetable garden. Musical friends, particularly students and teachers, are frequently welcome to enjoy the music room as temporary studio space. And children in wheelchairs automatically get a free pumpkin. Below market pricing and above average diversity Kristin and Elyssa Erickson making their 22nd annual Visitors to the pumpkin patch could feel selection for a fall display. overwhelmed by the stunning diversity of pumpkin and gourd species, which can make for spectacular displays of contrasting colors and textures. There are smooth and “warty” varieties, colors ranging from orange to white to gray and green, and every size imaginable. They feature an intriguing variety of names such as, Cinderella, Red Warty Thing, Naked Bean, Toad, Hooligan, Blue Doll, and more. Prices are calculated based on costs without any labor expense included. At the end of the season, the profi ts are split up to support the grandchildren’s education. Nyquist hopes to be doing this for many years to come. But he also hopes the pumpkin patch will be carried on even if he’s no longer in charge, and that it can continue to delight future generations. Pumpkins awating future display. Some of the pumpkin harvest. PHOTO BY DEB COX-JOHNSON Senior Connections HJ.COM Senior PHOTO BY DEB COX-JOHNSON PHOTO BY DEB COX-JOHNSON PHOTO BY DEB COX-JOHNSON Connections November 2018 11