Brigid Kilpatrick. Sound Irish?
That it is and the woman to whom the name belongs is so proud of her heritage that she says her success in two vocations was bathed in Irish luck.
"Yes, I am a lucky woman," she said as she described her dream-come-true country hideaway she shares with the public and a teaching career that preceded it.
Ms. Kilpatrick didn't change careers. She just didn't kick back and take it easy after retiring from 27 years of teaching.
What could have been a tranquil restful place for her retirement years is an al fresco enterprise that brings the public to her pond, gazebo, arbors, fields of wildflowers, and paths that wind through the woods.
"I knew it was a beautiful place and that I had to do something special with it," Ms. Kilpatrick said of Brigid's Daisy and Lily Farm, her 11-acre property on Rome Road, four miles east of Addison, Mich.
She considers the unusual business as a way to share her treasure with others. "I enjoy letting people enjoy my property and creativity," she said.
Couples like the tranquil country setting for weddings. Fall weddings, when the wooded area is especially colorful, are popular. One of her most unusual requests was from a bridegroom who wanted a rooster to crow during the ceremony like they did at his grandmother's farm. Ms. Kilpatrick gave it an Irish try thanks to her flock of chickens and a rooster.
Some families choose to also have the reception where they were married, but Ms. Kilpatrick does not do any food service, despite her home economics teaching background.
She excels in floral arrangements if they are requested. The grounds, particularly the gazebo and the woods, are popular photography backgrounds for engaged couples and family gatherings.
Ms. Kilpatrick also books private parties and reunions for groups that appreciate the isolation.
The four paths through the woods are appropriately named for romantics. They are Lovers Lane, Honeymoon Highway, First Kiss, and Bridal Path.
The business grew as Ms. Kilpatrick developed ideas. Extensive flower gardens are not only part of the landscape for guests, but are her source for a business of cut flowers and arrangements. Zinnias are among her favorites and this year she planted five flats.
She is also known for lilies and daisies as the name of the farm implies.
When the well was dug, Irish luck may have had an influence. At least it surely was a fortunate surprise when an artesian well was struck. The well provides water for the large pond and for the flowers.
Ms. Kilpatrick's bachelor's degree from Mercy College in Detroit and her master's from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti prepared her for teaching several subjects.
Her teaching career in the Addison schools began in 1972 and she taught science and mathematics as well as sewing and home economics.
After retiring in 2000, she attended adult education classes in floral design and, as they say, the rest is history.
Mary Alice Powell is a retired Blade food editor.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org