Saturday Surprise — A Gnome Update!!!

gnome-2It was exactly three years ago, March 2nd 2016, that I first wrote about the gnomes in Pennsylvania.  At the time, I only had about 50 followers and while everyone who read the piece seemed to like it, not that many people read it.  There have been a couple of updates since then*. Those who have joined my blogging family since the initial post, I encourage you to take a look at that piece, as it is background for what follows.

The man who had built the teeny tiny homes for the teeny tiny gnomes was Steve Hoke, who as you will see in the comments of the original piece, enjoyed his small bit of fame, as did his grandchildren.  Well, a week or so ago I received a message from Mr. Hoke:

“Hi Jill! I just wanted to update you on the Little Buffalo State Park Gnome relocation program. After being moved to other welcoming local parks, the Gnomes are thriving. There are now about 40 homes in the parks and other locations. In addition, I have made approx. 50 more homes that have been donated for various fundraisers to include the Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition and Relay for Life. The homes also adorn the lobby at the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey, Pa., local schools, Dr’s. offices and have even made their way to the Netherlands and many states. A local young lady who is battling stage 4 cancer has three of the homes which, “give her the strength to deal with her treatments and to fight the disease.” Gnome magic lives.”

gnome signageNeedless to say, I was just thrilled to hear all of that, so I did some digging.  No, Joe, not with a shovel in the back yard.  As Steve said, the gnomes have moved to other parks and such, and wherever they go, Steve builds them special houses.  He has even expanded and is now building them the most adorable little treehouses now!gnome treehouseSadly, one of the areas the gnomes moved to was Noye Park near the town of Duncannon, Pennsylvania, and just three days before Christmas last year, vandals struck and for no reason other than to be mean, destroyed all seven of the gnomes’ homes in the park.  😢

gnome-home-vandalized Luckily, though, none of the gnomes were injured and so will need new homes.  Steve was, of course, disappointed, but I’m betting he has already built new homes for them.  A borough official, Lisa Landis, has met with private organizations and also set up a GoFundMe page to install security cameras throughout the park, so hopefully the new gnome homes will be safe.

But on to the good news …

As Steve mentioned in his message, there is a local woman, Angelina McGarry, who is battling cancer.  She first saw one of the gnome homes when she attended a Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition fundraiser, and she says she just knew she had to have one.

“I was just mesmerized by it.  This was going to be my ‘starting chemo gift’ to myself.”

Well, there were three gnome homes up for auction, and Angelina won the very one she had hoped for.  But she got a special bonus last November when she actually met Steve and his wife, Marion, for he built her a special gift — a gnome home treehouse, with several levels, ladders, fencing, furniture, a beehive, a butterfly and many other colorful, fun features!gnome-house-Angela-McGarry

gnomesBut what is a gnome home without a few gnomes to occupy it?  Now, gnomes are very sociable creatures … with other gnomes.  They aren’t a big fan of people, though, and it took some doing to convince a few of them to go spend time with Ms. McGarry.  But they had come to trust Steve over the past few years, for he had always looked out for them, and in his special way, he was able to convince a few of the teeny tiny gnomes to give it a try.  From what I read last night, it is working out fabulously and the gnomes are happy as little larks!  I suspect the day will come when they will long for the park again, for trees and adventure, but as long as Ms. McGarry needs them, they will be right by her side.  Check out the video …

Steve’s gnome houses have spread far and wide, as he mentioned in his message.  The Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrances is a tea room/herb and spice shop in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  Not long ago, the owner found a pair of gnomes residing in the garden of the tea house and she wrote to Steve to see if he would build them a home.  Of course, he did …

gnome-home-Rosemary

And a few of the gnomes even opened their own little fruit-and-veggie stand behind the tea house where they sell … teeny tiny fruits and veggies!gnome-fruit-veggie-vendor.JPGThree cheers for Steve Hoke and his wonderful project to provide such adorable teeny tiny homes for all those teeny tiny gnomes!  Keep up the good work … the world needs more people like you!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the gnomes and the homes this morning!  Have a safe and fun weekend, my friends!

* Links to all three previous posts about Steve, the gnomes and their homes:

The Gnomes Have Lost Their Homes (part 1 – original post)

Update: The Gnomes Have New Homes (part 2)

Saturday Surprise — Return of the Gnomes!

33 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — A Gnome Update!!!

  1. Thanks Jill! Your update is wonderful and my wife and I continue to follow our hearts by making Gnome Homes for anyone who wants one. Unfortunately, now that it’s yardwork season, the building will slow down, but we were able to make about 25 over the winter and most are spoken for. The wee ones are repopulating our area at an astounding rate. Have a great spring & summer. Steve

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    • You and the gnome homes are ALWAYS a pleasure to write about, and everyone enjoys the updates so much! Thank you, Steve, for all that you do, for the joy you give us, and for popping by and commenting! It’s always so good to hear from you! Take care and go easy on the yardwork! The gnomes need you!

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  2. I remember well the Saturday Surprise – Return of the Gnomes post, the date was of significance to me. I told you about my Gram’s “The Garden Gnome” and my own Garden Gnome. One of the things that I gave to my Son (a gardener of magical talents much like my Gram’s) when he purchased his home, was a Garden Gnome. He has added numerous others throughout his many gardens. This update is a beautiful addition to the tale of Steve Hoke’s gnomes and homes. He makes me proud to say that I am a native Pennsylvanian, although settled in New England for decades now. He is an inspiration to retired folks everywhere to find something worthwhile to fill those years. I would love to shake his hand and tell him “well done”! Thank-you!

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    • And I also remember you telling me of your Gram’s mysteriously roaming gnome as well as your own. Gnomes are such a wonderful retreat from the ugliness in the world we see every day. I think I’ll just go live in someone’s garden! I would love to shake Mr. Hoke’s hand, as well! He’s one of the ‘good people’, I think.

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  3. Dearest Jill,
    Please forgive me for spoiling the fun, but two days ago in Edmonton a senior citizen of non-white race was severely beaten near his family home while out for a walk. The last I heard he was still in critical condition in hospital.
    Police say they have a suspect in custody, but are giving no details at this time, including motive. I DO NOT KNOW THIS IS A HATE CRIME. The news announcer said, “It seems he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” When the wrong place, near your home, at the wrong time, doing what you do everyday, is “just” a wrong thing there is something wrong with our society. There is no safe place left to go!

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    • Yes, my friend, there is something terribly wrong with our world these days, and it’s not only in your country or in mine, but it seems to be like a plague that is spreading over the globe. What happened in Edmonton is tragic, senseless, and it is happening more and more … but goes largely unreported. A daily walk in the neighborhood he’s lived in for 30 years cannot be called being in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’. His assailant was the one in the wrong place … he should have been where he is now, assuming the suspect they have in custody is the right one. I read two stories about this after reading your comment, and funny, but neither mentioned that he was a black man, although one showed a small photo at the end of the story. Call a spade a spade, or as my UK friend Mary says, call a spade a bloody shovel! This was a racial attack, pure and simple.

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