I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have given me the gift of your belief in me and your patronage during the past year. I particularly treasure those of you with whom I have worked for several years so that we can tweak your landscapes as they change. Unlike paintings that are beautiful yet static, landscapes evolve. (See photos for the changes in one landscape.) I love to share my expertise. Many years ago, I thought that I would become a lawyer but eventually decided that the world had enough lawyers but not enough people to make the world a more beautiful place.
Unfortunately, global warming is here and our environment is threatened. A gift to the world itself and to our descendants would be planting a tree. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, remove and store the carbon, and release the oxygen back into the air. Trees clean the air of pollutants, cool streets and urban environments, and slow water evaporation from thirsty lawns, and provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife. As a bonus, trees also improve property values. I would love to advise you about the perfect tree for your landscape.
Rather than send holiday cards or gifts to you, I have made donations in your names to the Women’s Community Fund at the Cleveland Foundation and to LAND. The former helps women and children and the latter improves our city environment with art and landscaping.
I’d like to give you one quick example. Last month, I was seated in a restaurant next to a family in which the father was attempting to instruct his daughter on how she should arrange her morning. An argument ensued and the daughter stomped out after saying to her father that you would think a sixty-year-old woman was perfectly capable of making her own decisions. Twenty minutes later, she returned, obviously still very unhappy. Before she sat down, I went up to her and said, “I think you need a hug” and then proceeded to give her one. She thanked me profusely and even gave a half-smile.
I wish all of you a Happy New Year and look forward to working with you in the coming year.