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October 16, 2014

Once upon a time, there was a wonderful place named Zephyrgarten.  Zephyrgarten was my family’s home.

When I bought my first house in Aurora, IL, I was moved to give it a name.  I imagine I was a little jealous of wealthy people who named their homes.  Elvis had Graceland.  Thomas Jefferson had Monticello.  The Ewings of Dallas had Southfork.  Even my great-aunt had a property in Indiana they called Twin Eagle Ranch, and I had often heard about my great-uncle who owned some property that my mom picnicked at as a child that he called Shady Rest. Why couldn’t I name my humble home in Aurora?



We began to think about a name and not long after the name Zephyrgarten came to mind.  Zephyrgarten literally means “Garden of the West Wind”.  In college we had a teacher that taught literature and covered Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey. He captivated with the descriptions of Greek history, myth and literature.  Zephyr was the God of the west wind, the winds that brought about Spring and Summer.  I took the class in the Spring semester and soon came to experience zephyrs when Winter was chased away by the most delightfully warm winds of Spring that would race through your hair and caress your skin with warmth.  Our home in Aurora, which was out west from where we grew up, was purchased in the Spring and was where we were going to raise our children, so the concept of kindergarten (literally, “kid or children garden”) evolved to the name we chose: Zephyrgarten – Garden of the West Wind.

It worked for us and we delighted in the name and our time with our young, growing family there.  We had one child, then another, then another…our family was blooming.

Zephyrgarten was a brand new house with light sky-blue siding on a big lot with nice back yard. Inside we had a nice family room where for a brief while we built a big cardboard fort that we would crawl around and play in with our oldest child, Cody, and we would gate off the dining room and called it CodyWorld – it was like a playpen, only much larger and full of toys for Cody to play in safely. In subsequent years as Tess and Canyon were born to our family we started a garden in one corner of the back yard and built a swing set and fort for the kids in the other.


Cody and Tess on a kiddie swing set in the back yard at Zephyrgarten


One year we decided to have a picnic event for family and friends at a nearby forest preserve and we called the event “ZephyrFest”.  ZephyrFest was wonderful fun for our friends and family and we made some wonderful memories from several years of picnics.  You can read more about ZephyrFest at

Sadly, times got very tough for several reasons, and we had to sell and leave Zephyrgarten.  It is now a memory.

But remnants of Zephyrgarten memories still remain.

I did a web search for the unique word “Zephyrgarten” that I coined and some of the work I did in the Zephyrgarten name 15 years ago still was accessible out there … Zephyrgarten …. Zephyrgarten Home Page … Zephyrgarten Poetry Post….and the Zephyrgarten Christmas radio station I created on Pandora can still be accessed to bring you some of the most wonderful Christmas music from artists I love, so save it to your favorites and enjoy it this coming holiday season.

I also found the Zephyrgarten logo I created many years ago, that some of you might remember, featuring a wispy-curly blue lettering on a spring green field with a heart growing in it.  It represented the elements where the name came was derived from: blue skies, breezes, spring greenery, growth and love.  You can even still purchase merchandise with the original Zephyrgarten logo on it at the Zephyrgarten Store that I created many years ago.



I used to print greeting cards with the Zephyrgarten Greetings name, logo and “Home Is Where The Heart Is” tagline on the back of them, and some of you may still have one of those in a drawer somewhere.

Zephyrgarten is gone, but not forgotten. It lives on in the memories of those who lived and visited there, as well as places it still graces on the internet, including now, this story.

I wish I could say the Zephyrgarten story has a ‘happily ever after’ ending.  Sadly, it does not. Neither did King Arthur’s Camelot.  Putting my faith in God that it ends as it should is about the best I can do for now.

For today, I’ll just cherish the happy memories I have of Zephyrgarten, and find the beauty and hope I can in making a new home and new dreams.


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