From Our Founders
of raspberries, patience, and dreams (thoughts on the Hallmark vision)
All of us have dreams, even if sometimes they’re difficult to find. They are truly important to a full and meaningful life. Dreams force us to take risk, and can stretch our commitment to the point of discouragement along the way – but perseverance often pays off.
One dream Grace and I had as a young married couple was to raise our family in the country – it didn’t matter what kind of house, we just wanted ‘room to breathe’.
By the time our third son came along, it became clear that we’d better move before we risked getting run out of town - I could tell many interesting stories about our three sons!
Our first acreage then was an attempt to move towards the simpler life – we pictured quiet days lingering into peaceful nights – wow, were we mistaken! We had milk goats, cats, chickens, dogs, and worst of all, raspberries.
Our farm equipment consisted of a 1952 Farmall tractor and some implements from prehistoric times. This, coupled with a persevering (or stubborn) spirit was what helped us pursue the dream of an acre of berries for us to work on as a family.
Needless to say, we are not berry farmers today – but the pursuit of this dream taught us a lot. One of the first lessons for us was that raspberry canes, once planted, needed to be pruned back vigorously in its second year in order to channel their energies into producing strong roots rather than fruit-bearing.
This was hard for us – it was bad enough to wait one whole year – but two years – all that work, and no fruit! Of course the farmers were right – they always are – and the first crop we took off was excellent. But we had to wait.
Hallmark was like that for us. Our long-nurtured dream of creating a supportive and loving home where elderly people could flourish asked us to wait and persevere while the “roots” began to establish themselves for long-term health.
The years have been far from easy, but they have also brought many blessings and friendships.
The challenge we continually faced was how to make prudent decisions which reflected our commitment to running a viable operation, as well as our commitment to the best possible good for all Residents and Team Members.
We were stubborn enough to believe that we could do it!
-Stan and Grace Hindmarsh, Founders