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New York transplant now enjoys rural living in northeast Oklahoma Gardens of life A


garden is a place to enjoy nature in all of its splendor. Beyond that, it is a place for contemplation. For introspection.


One could, with little effort, draw parallels between a


garden and the human journey. Seeds are sewn and plants are nurtured. They bring forth blooms and later fruit. Time is set aside for maintenance—transplanting and pruning—as growth requires. Life is challenged, as sure as the seasons change.


-o0o- The pursuits of life tug at our roots and carry us


away into a world of adventure. The journey can be long and winding and full of unexpected twists and turns. Eileen has been a willing participant on this journey. As a young girl growing up on Long Island, New


York, she would spend her days swimming at Jones Beach with sister Kathy, sailing with her family, or combing the flats of the Great South Bay for clams. She recalls vividly how they would shuck the clams on the spot, sprinkle them with a little chili sauce and enjoy them right out of the bay. Young Eileen could have never envisioned during


those carefree days that she would one day end up a thousand miles away in rural Oklahoma.


-o0o- The garden sits in an area once covered with


pastureland. Grass pathways trace stone-lined beds filled with thriving flowers, shrubs and trees. Baths and handcrafted houses invite birds to this sanctuary. Rabbits, too, are frequent visitors. This place has been a refuge for Eileen—especially so


since Charlie’s passing. She lost her beloved husband and best friend in February 2011. It was painful to watch his decline from the vibrant, dynamic man so highly revered throughout the international medical community. Dr. Charles Sumner Neer II was a distinguished ortho-


paedic surgeon who helped thousands of patients during the 50 years he spent as an esteemed member of the faculty at


4 Northeast Connection


Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. Eileen and Charlie met there while working together. Dr. Neer is considered the father of modern shoulder


surgery. His was a brilliant career. His work was innovative, his achievements remarkable. He developed techniques and engineered prostheses that


advanced the science of shoulder surgery like no one before him and no one since. It should come as no surprise that a Neer prosthesis is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute. “He was the best in the world at what he did,” Eileen


said.


Eileen Neer opened her shop at the farm in April of 2011.


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