A 'Path of Life' Meanders through Adams County

By Eric Olson

June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 8, 2008 at 1:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter)--EVERY JOURNEY, THEY SAY, BEGINS WITH THE FIRST STEP.
Dian: Black eyed Susan and phlox, that's probably my favorite, snow on the mountain, coneflower..
DIAN HERMAN , FOR INSTANCE. SHE NEVER THOUGHT OF HERSELF AS A GARDENER..
Dian: That's one called copperhead that's different that's new this year.
BUT WHEN HER HUSBAND AL BUILT A STONE PATH ALONG THEIR FIVE ACRE POND SOUTH OF BLUFFTON, DIAN BEGAN PLANTING FLOWERS ALONG IT.
Dian: Geraniums originally came from Switzerland thirty years ago we've kept them going so those are kind of neat people like to see that. I planted 'em, God makes it bloom!
TEN YEARS LATER DIAN HAS CREATED, IF NOT A GARDEN OF EDEN, AT LEAST A PATHWAY THROUGH IT, NEARLY HALF A MILE LONG, BURSTING WITH COLOR AND WILDLIFE.
Dian: I have lots of churches and garden clubs and herb clubs and must alot of people that come.
DIAN'S PATH LEADS HERE, TO THE FRENCH FAMILY CEMETERY, ONE OF HUNDREDS OF SMALL PLOTS DOTTING ADAMS COUNTY. PATRIARCH JOSEPH FRENCH, A VETERAN OF THE WAR OF 1812, SETTLED THIS TOWNSHIP, FRENCH TOWNSHIP, IN 1835. HE IS HERE ALONG WITH DOZENS OF HIS RELATIONS. DIAN HERMAN'S TOUCH IS EVIDENT EVERYWHERE.
Dian: When I moved here alot of the tombstones were broken it was so old and we sat them up now. I got flowers around everything.
DIAN'S OWN FLESH AND BLOOD NOW SHARE THIS HALLOWED GROUND WITH THE FRENCH FAMILY. HER GRANDSON BEN, KILLED IN 2001, IS BURIED HERE. AND HUSBAND AL, WHO DIED SUDDENLY A YEAR LATER IS ALSO HERE. DIAN WALKS ALONG HER PATH TO THIS SPOT EVERYDAY.
Dianne: It's been healing for me, some people that's not their thing to me it's been healing so I spend alot of time in the cemetery.
WHEN SHE HAS TIME THAT IS. DIAN'S PATH KEEPS HER BUSY NEARLY YEAR 'ROUND. IT ALSO KEEPS HER HEALTHY AND FIT. ITS NOT WHY HUSBAND AL BUILT THE PATH TEN YEARS AGO, BUT THAT'S HOW THIS PARTICULAR JOURNEY HAS TURNED OUT.
Dian: My family tells me enough, because when I'm gone who's gonna take care of it? They say well somebody'll probably just mow it over and I says 'Well what if I had 15 good years let's enjoy it for 15 years. Then we'll worry about it then. Don't know what's happen in this old world anyways.
ERIC OLSON REPORTING OUT IN YOUR COUNTRY.




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