Hardships Into Gifts

Janis, universally regarded as one of the kindest and most giving individuals a person could have the honor of meeting, was born into a life of trauma. Trauma begets crisis, and Janis has had more than her fair share of experience with both. 

After moving to Moab in the 90’s,  she purchased the 3 acre plot of land where she would nurture the Native Plant Nursery into existence, a green space so prolific it was visited by folks from all over the southwest and beyond. After over a decade of doing everything right and making a name for herself putting her nursery on the map, Janis lost the business in the 2008 recession. She sold everything but the land to keep her head above water. Almost overnight, all of her hard work was swept out from under her feet.

She relocated back to Santa Barbara where she lived in a van parked in a church parking lot and worked at a nursery making $9 an hour. This period was rife with depression, suicidal ideation, and anger. She had seen greed topple so many lives, her own included, and was living with the consequences of other people’s actions. None of it seemed fair. 

Then, after losing her van and being forced to choose which bush was safest to live in, she had a realization: she could choose to be grateful. She began dedicating her energy to being grateful for what she does have, even if it meant being grateful for gratitude itself. This new focus led her to a great many new places, eventually drawing her back to Moab where she got a job at the local food cooperative. She found a place to live, and eventually was granted the Mutual Self Help 502 loan to begin construction on her very own home.

Just a year out of cancer treatment, the building process has been arduous, but building her own home with her new neighbors has been incredible. Janis, who is nurturing by her very nature, has loved finding community with her neighbors as they build their homes together. She’s looking forward to helping them landscape their gardens to their hearts’ content. With a new home of her own right on the horizon, Janis’ greatest skill has had the chance to come to light again.

“I have always had the ability to turn hardships into gifts,” Janis says. This home is no exception.

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