It 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.”
Needless 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!Sadly, 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. 😢
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!
But 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 …
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!Three 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: