We lost our dear friend, Nadine Boer.
This morning, I opened the February 2022 WSMC Heartbeat to a video of Class 5 and 6 experiencing a flock of birds overhead at the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge. The video is filled with the cacophony of thousands of birds flying overhead, combined with the excited voices of the children watching. In the end, the camera pans to the sky, where the birds form a thrilling and changing quicksilver pattern of flight. At bottom, one child’s outstretched arms are seen, fingers reaching out to touch the magic, trying to capture it and hold it close for just one moment.
My friend Nadine understood the magic Nature brings to children and believed that her family’s farm was a place for as many children as possible to experience that magic. Many people knew Nadine as the pumpkin patch lady, but I knew her as many, many more things: mother, daughter, and wife to her family, dedicated parent through all the grades at the Waldorf School, volunteer leader with 4H and the Ukiah Faire, cheerful helper behind the counter at the bookstore, friend of the county library, knitter of the most beautiful gifts and, always, caterer and cook of the most tempting food for others. Mostly, though, I will remember Nadine as the friend who always showed up to quietly offer a capable and loving hand, whenever and wherever help was needed.
Right now, in this moment, when I think of Nadine no longer here among us, and watching the children’s excitement and wonder at the wild birds, the memory that floods my soul and lives most strongly is of Nadine standing at her pumpkin patch, bathed in the dusty warmth of the Fall sun. I see her quiet pride and joy as she stands by, quietly watching a generation of our children run to and fro, excitedly searching for the very best pumpkin to be found, reaching out for the magic, and actually carrying a little piece of it home.
May my soul’s love strive to you,
May my love’s meaning stream to you,
May they bear you,
May they hold you,
In the heights of hope,
In the spheres of love.
Nadine was a beloved member of our community. One of my earliest memories of Nadine was when Audriaan was a tiny infant and she took him to our Michaelmas pageant. I have never seen a happier momma with baby Audi in her arms. Her family meant everything to her.
She gave of her time freely and lovingly, she was always willing to help at the school, and as a parent. I will always remember Nadine with her big heart and smile that knew no bounds. (And she has the best peaches) I will miss her. All my love to the family. Debra McCarthy (Kindergarten Teacher)
Nadine educated me on all things squash. Which were the best to use for soup, what one to get if I wanted seeds, which would last longest as decorations. It was grown up magic to find someone who knew so much!
I watched my children run wild in her fields, searching for their pumpkins, pulling wagons through the mud, chatting with classmates. Then Nadine gratefully receiving their songs and finger games as payment (along with a little kindergarten soup).
She will be greatly missed.
Emily Rose Smith (WSMC Parent)
My family and I spent many years going out to Pirate Pete's for the annual pumpkin picking field trip with WSMC. The kids would run out with their classes, pulling their red wagons, to find the perfect pumpkin The weather was great, fall was in the air. The flowers they would plant along the rows were always great photo opps. Every year we would end the day with singing a song or playing the flute as a thank you to Nadine. She would always stand with a big smile on her face.
Jami O'Connor (WSMC Alumni Parent)