All posts by Roseann Dennery
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Growing Together..

May 20, 2015 No Comments 13

It’s a balmy spring day, and we sit in the lulling stillness that garden settings often afford in the morning hours. Although a steady stream of traffic buzzes just outside the Growing Together gates on Glendale Avenue in central Phoenix, it feels like a sanctuary. Secluded. Safe. Annie Mittelstaedt, the garden’s co-founder, smiles when she is asked about how her vision transpired into the “holy” place where she is sitting today. Although her sunglasses cover the emotion reflected in her eyes, the smile that appears could tell a hundred stories. Stories that, if she had the time to share them all, would speak of countless moments orchestrated by the hand of God and the kindness of people, coming together to bring forth something unexplainable. garden1 “Nine years ago, my husband and his brothers acquired this property to build on,” she begins. “The market wasn’t great at the time, so we decided to hold off. My friend Ronda, who is a Master Gardener, suggested we put a community garden on the land. That simple suggestion was how it all got started.” So began a series of events that brought together the right people at the right time, most with scant experience in the movement of community gardening. “We formed a board of five people and began talking about what was possible. It took us about a year to put it together. Our initial vision grew into something much bigger than we could have ever imagined. We stood here with a shovel and made an opportunity for people to come alongside of us and do what they do. It really wasn’t about us at all, ” Annie says genuinely. garden3 This vision laid a firm framework of what the garden has become:...

It’s a balmy spring day, and we sit in the lulling stillness that garden settings often afford in the morning hours. Although a steady stream of traffic buzzes just outside the Growing Together gates on Glendale Avenue in central Phoenix, it feels like a sanctuary. Secluded. Safe. Annie Mittelstaedt, the garden’s co-founder, smiles when she is asked about how her vision transpired into the “holy” place where she is sitting today. Although her sunglasses cover the emotion reflected in her eyes, the smile that appears could tell a hundred stories. Stories that, if she had the time to share them all, would speak of countless moments orchestrated by the hand of God and the kindness of people, coming together to bring forth something unexplainable. garden1 “Nine years ago, my husband and his brothers acquired this property to build on,” she begins. “The market wasn’t great at the time, so we decided to hold off. My friend Ronda, who is a Master Gardener, suggested we put a community garden on the land. That simple suggestion was how it all got started.” So began a series of events that brought together the right people at the right time,...

It’s a balmy spring day, and we sit in the lulling stillness that garden settings often afford in the morning hours. Although a steady stream of traffic buzzes just outside the Growing Together gates on Glendale Avenue in central Phoenix, it feels like a sanctuary. Secluded. Safe. Annie Mittelstaedt, the garden’s co-founder, smiles when she is asked about how her vision transpired into the “holy” place where she is sitting today. Although her sunglasses cover the emotion reflected in her eyes, the smile that appears could tell a hundred stories. Stories that, if she had the time to share them all,...

It’s a balmy spring day, and we sit in the lulling stillness that garden settings often afford in the morning hours. Although a steady stream of traffic buzzes just outside the Growing Together gates on Glendale Avenue in central Phoenix, it feels like a sanctuary. Secluded. Safe. Annie Mittelstaedt, the garden’s...

It’s a balmy spring day, and we sit in the lulling stillness that garden settings often afford in the morning hours. Although a steady stream...

It’s a balmy spring day, and we sit in the lulling stillness that garden settings often afford in the morning hours. Although a steady stream of traffic buzzes just outside the Growing Together gates on Glendale Avenue in central Phoenix, it feels like a sanctuary. Secluded. Safe. Annie Mittelstaedt, the garden’s co-founder, smiles when she is asked about how her vision transpired into the “holy” place where she is sitting today. Although her sunglasses cover the emotion reflected in her eyes, the smile that appears could tell a hundred stories. Stories that, if she had the time to share them all,...

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Bridging the Gap..

September 24, 2014 No Comments 12

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the brightest of yellows and deepest of reds. I turned down my radio so I could hear their laughter escape from wide smiles of white against coal black skin. Accented by the sound of their worn flip-flops hitting the heated Phoenix asphalt, their movement created an intonation that spoke of purpose, confidence. In all their beauty, they were three young refugee women, including one whose profile was defined by a small, swaddled weight on her back. In the space between a red and a green light, I lost my sense of time. The scene triggered an unexpected and visceral response in me as my eyes brimmed with tears. I was ushered back to a time when I had, months earlier, watched figures like these with similar admiration. Women who walked across the dusty swallows of a refugee camp, gathering water in tattered jerry cans as their heels kicked up clouds of dry Sudanese dirt around them. In the noonday sun, the brilliant colors of their dresses punctuated the barren landscape with stunning contrast then as they did today. In my mind, the parallels were striking. In the noonday sun, the brilliant colors of their dresses punctuated the barren landscape with stunning contrast. The stoplight changed and my eyes refocused. They went along their way, unaware of my silent spectating, and I was left with the colliding encounter of a profound memory and a fleeting, present moment. I had recently returned to Phoenix from a season overseas, and the longing for something meaningful to connect with from a world I sorely missed was exposed during moments like these. I pulled over...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the brightest of yellows and deepest of reds. I turned down my radio so I could hear their laughter escape from wide smiles of white against coal black skin. Accented by the sound of their worn flip-flops hitting the heated Phoenix asphalt, their movement created an intonation that spoke of purpose, confidence. In all their beauty, they were three young refugee women, including one whose profile was defined by a small, swaddled weight on her back. In the space between a red and a green light, I lost my sense of time. The scene triggered an unexpected and visceral response in me as my eyes brimmed with tears. I was ushered back to a time when I had, months earlier, watched figures like these with similar admiration. Women who walked across the dusty swallows of a refugee camp, gathering water in tattered jerry cans as their heels kicked up clouds of dry Sudanese dirt around them. In the noonday sun, the brilliant colors of their dresses punctuated...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the brightest of yellows and deepest of reds. I turned down my radio so I could hear their laughter escape from wide smiles of white against coal black skin. Accented by the sound of their worn flip-flops hitting the heated Phoenix asphalt, their movement created an intonation that spoke of purpose, confidence. In all their beauty, they were three young refugee women, including one whose profile...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the brightest of yellows and deepest of reds. I turned down my radio so I could...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the brightest of yellows and deepest of reds. I turned down my radio so I could hear their laughter escape from wide smiles of white against coal black skin. Accented by the sound of their worn flip-flops hitting the heated Phoenix asphalt, their movement created an intonation that spoke of purpose, confidence. In all their beauty, they were three young refugee women, including one whose profile...

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