The Pamlico Rose Institute
Growing Community by Preserving History
820 Park Dr. Washington, NC, 27889
(805) 320-2967
CA Fan Visits NC

CA Fan Visits NC

David and I were the last ones still at Rose Haven at 12:30pm Sunday after closing up our coffee shop experience, On Common Grounds.  The last chair and table were stowed inside.  A car popped into the parking lot.  A window rolled down on the passenger side.

“Are you done with the morning?” the occupant asked.

“Yes, we are,” I replied.  “But would you like to get out and take a tour?”

“Well, I already had one,” she said a bit sheepishly.  “I came yesterday and walked the grounds when no one was here.  I hope that was okay.  You see, I am a Navy Veteran, a nurse from 1962-1966, and I live in California and have been following your progress on Facebook almost since you started here.”

Visitors in front of the Rose Haven sign

Robert, Ginny & Cynthia

It’s a small world went through my mind.


“I am originally from around here, and I come back every so often to see my friend, Cynthia.  I wanted to try one more time to meet you before I leave today on the train back.  Is that the guy who works on the windows?” she asked pointing over at David.

“Yes, he is the window man,” I said, and called David over.

And she opened the door and got out.

“Would you still like to walk around for a minute or two?” I asked.   “See the inside of the house?”

And so, that was the start of our chance meeting with Ginny (Virginia) Cline and her life-long friend Cynthia.

Ginny had done a lot in her lifetime.  But over half a century later she was watching the progress of our Center for female Veterans all the way from northern California – the gardens taking shape and work starting back up on the house.  The Center and its mission had struck a chord.  We showed them more of the gardens and walked them through the house and then to their car.  From inside, Ginny asked if we would plant a yellow rose for her on the grounds and gave me money to cover buying a rose or two.

“Of course,” I said.  “You have toured the gardens, where would you like it to be planted?” I asked.

“I don’t know, roses love sun.  Pick a spot.”

And then they were gone.

She said she would be back in a coupe of years.  The rose will be waiting to greet her.


Vista Member Joins PR

Vista Member Joins PR

September 04, 2019 – My Personal Blog

Kaitlyn on the porch of Rose Haven.This year, at least for myself, Labor Day weekend ended with a little extra excitement than most years.  I was welcomed into the Pamlico Rose family on Tuesday as well as sworn in officially as an AmeriCorps Vista member.  For those of you who haven’t heard of AmeriCorps Vista it is an organization dedicated to service, community outreach and capacity building throughout the United States.  For the duration of the next year I will be working for Pamlico Rose as a Vista member, and I could not be more thrilled.

In May of 2019 I graduated from Washington College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  So when I began looking to become a Vista member I knew that I wanted to be involved in a community where I could continue to learn about the life long evolution of psychological and physical wellness in individuals.  I am also a member of a large extended military family, that has had a huge impact on my research interests.  So when I found the opening at Pamlico Rose, an organization who sole focus was helping female veterans to grow and succeed, I knew that this was the perfect position.  My role is to help Pamlico Rose build community outreach and thus a greater capacity to help their programs succeed.  This will include growing their fundraising efforts, broadening their outreach, and helping plan events, such as our upcoming Garden Party.  Next May’s Healing Vet Weekend and Ride for Rose Haven and recruiting volunteers will be another challenge.  It’s a lot I know, but I am also with Pamlico for an entire year.  That kind of support can go a long way.

After what seemed like a whirlwind application process and apartment search I made the 10 hour move from New Jersey to North Carolina with my cat, Topher.  With the help of my lovely parents, who made the long trip with me and did a great deal of packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking, they made sure I was more than ready for my first day of work.

Honoring Those Who Help Us Grow

Honoring Those Who Help Us Grow

The dog days of August seemed like a good time to stop for a moment, wipe the sweat and grime from our brows and put on some clean clothes.  In other words, smell the roses, and appreciate those who have supported the last year of work on the development of the Betty Ann Sands Memorial Gardens and more generally, supported the Rose Haven Center of Healing.  Saturday, August 10th at 6:30 pm, 40 people joined Pamlico Rose to recognize those who have given time, effort, and resources to bring The Seed, our blue-collar part of gardens “online” and continue building the gathering and mediation areas of the healing landscape.  That moment in time also gave us the occasion to dedicate places in the gardens for the memories of loved ones.   Finally, on a beautiful peaceful evening, there was opportunity to stroll the gardens and see the progress being made and imagine the art of the possible still to come.

Attendees at the Pamlico Rose garden dedication

Attendees listen to a poem.


Pamlico Rose CEO Robert Greene Sands and Pamlico Rose honored Betty Wheeler, the Dr. Eric W and Patricia C Sands Charitable Foundation, idX, a Washington environments designer, and Lucas Wood for their significant contributions of resources and passion to the Gardens in 2019.  Their giving will now be etched in signs and commemorated in places throughout the garden.  Jensen Burbules, Nancy Scoble and Emily Carefoot received Pamlico Rose bricks of appreciation for their considerable work in the gardens.  Many others who supported the gardens were also recognized. 



Pamlico Rose with Betty Randolph

Betty Randolph with members of Pamlico Rose

Sands also dedicated the Louis Randolph Memorial Gardens to honor the memory of Louis Randolph and the positive impact that Louis had and his wife Betty Randolph, who was in attendance, and the owner of neighbor New Beginning Funeral, continues to have on the development of Rose Haven, and the greater community.  Pamlico Rose also dedicated a garden area to Bill Clark, a long time Washington resident, and to Bill and Rebecca Clark’s poodle Bear.  Pamlico Rose welcomed Rebecca’s visit to Bill’s memorial on Friday.



Blog by Robert Sands  —  Photos by Kelly Smith

Work Day with idX and Troop 21 – 27 July 2019

Work Day with idX and Troop 21 – 27 July 2019

Volunteers with their weeded garden plot.


Seven-fifteen on this last Saturday morning, that’s right, 7:15 AM, and the volunteers from idX, with Heather Bullock, HR lead being one of the first arriving, were already showing up at Rose Haven for their Garden workday.  The early morning was a delight, cool temps, and the quiet that comes with the weekend.  Coffee, water, Gatorade, and pastries greeted them.  Work began promptly at 7:30.  Trust me, you don’t want to spin more wheels than necessary on a July day, even one that started cool as this one.  The day heats up as the sun rises – blue skies offered little chance for respite. 






Intro and Off To Work!

I introduced the Pamlico Rose folks, David, Greg, Emily, and Bella the wonder puppy, and followed with a hearty thanks for giving us their Saturday morning.  Why such a center was needed came next.  The intended population of the Pamlico Rose Center of Healing of female Veterans who are struggling with reintegration, some in recovery, and many with the residual effects of PTSD from military sexual trauma need a place to heal.  Finally, after a safety brief from David (don’t put the rake down with prongs up, someone awareness challenged like me could come along, take a wrong step and see stars for a while), and the quick group photo, off we went peeling the 12 volunteers into groups of twos to tackle their main objectives for the day – weeding, laying cardboard and mulch.  Two volunteers got to prime clapboards.

Painted clapboards from a 07.27.19 work day at Pamlico Rose.

Shovels and rakPresentation of an idX donation check to Pamlico awaited the weeding groups, compliments of idX.  The tools would stay at Rose Haven when the morning work was completed; a donation more than gratefully accepted.  So was the check for $2,000 that Heather gave me later in the morning.  Shown is Heather Bullock and I in a photo, holding an envelope with check enclosed, sweaty (at least I was), dirt and more dirt decorating stained clothes (at least mine were).  No business clothes here, unless of course you work as a landscaper.






Troop 21

Just minutes into their weeding, the next volunteer group was arriving.  Eight Boy Scouts from Troop 21, along with one or both of their parents, were coming to support Lucas Wood in the last stage of his Eagle Scout project, building six raised produce beds.  These weren’tBoy Scout Troop 21 and parents.just any raised beds.  They were three different robust models, 3×8 feet x 32 inches high and sturdily built by Lucas over two months.  Like most of the gardens, and walkways, the beds were built to be accessible by those with disabilities.  It would take a Scout troop to transport them from our building area in the back to the produce garden area, we call The Seed, up front.  At 8:30, I was thanking the scouts for supporting Lucas and Pamlico Rose, and providing a much abridged, and less detailed view of what was said 60 minutes prior.  The adolescent scouts might not have grasped reasons for female Vets coming to our Center of Healing.

Except for the idX folks weeding the Randolph Memorial Garden out front for 2-3 hours that Saturday morning, two disparate groups, Boy Scout Troop 21 staining raised garden beds.generations apart and almost rubbing shoulders, shared the Betty Ann Sands Memorial Healing and Artful Gardens space.  All were tied together by the common goal of helping those less fortunate.  As weeds were flying hither and yon, and small rollers dripping with grey primer were coating clapboards, multiple paint brushes held by Scouts sopping with stain were attacking thirsty wood.  Lucas was there to direct the operation, showing leadership qualities that Eagle Scout projects also expect. 



Beds on the Move

Two Scouts move a raised garden bed at Rose Haven.

As noon approached, after giving us their morning, the idX crew began to leave.  A handful of hearty ones, joined by two visitors, stayed longer to complete the work on the Randolph Memorial Garden in front and finish using up what primer was provided.  But the Scouts were ready to kick it up a notch.  No surprise there.  One by one, a raised bed hoisted by Scouts, like a centipede with 16 legs moving mostly in unison, would find its way to The Seed area and placed in its appropriate slot along the walkway.  Then, eight Scouts with shovels formed a human shovel train from the piles of gin trash to the bed just settled in.  As noon approached, the last weed was pulled, the last shovel of mulch and gin trash found its place, and the last bed was made.




We would like to thank:

  • Our new-found friends at idX for their generosity of time, materials and their financial gift. They came along and gave us a shot in the arm when we needed it.  We are better because of them.
  • Lucas Wood, for his 2 months of hard work at not just building raised beds to last seasons, but his willingness to pick up and drop off mulch as well, we doff our sweat-stained caps (at least mine is) to him. In Lucas, we had the pleasure to work with one who will be a future leader.
  • The energetic legs and arms of Troop 21 and their parents, and a grandparent, the beds are stained, loaded to grow, and in their rightful place.Site of completed raised garden beds.

The gardens are blooming.


The Randolph Garden

The Randolph Garden

Tuesday of last week, we officially designated the garden area on the west side of the Rose Haven sign as the Louis Randolph Memorial Garden.  By that I mean we were able to meet up with Betty Randolph, owner of New Beginning Funeral Home, the wife of Louis.  We presented her with the garden sign long enough for her to hold it and experience its meaning.  Then, fittingly, sweaty and worn after a morning working in the heat that has claimed these last two weeks, we took the sign out to the garden and planted it next to the short walkway leading to the heart of the garden and the stone bench.  It was done. 

There for that opportunistic moment that Betty was at the funeral home, Kevin Glymph and his son Ayden helped me sink the sign.  And Bella, who now spends as much time in the gardens as I do, was also a witness.  Kevin is a 23-year Army Veteran, a former Ranger and Special Forces.  With this planting he became that connection between Veterans and the generosity of Betty and the funeral home.  Pamlico Rose will maintain the Randolph Memorial Garden.  We trust that once the heat dials back, folks will take the opportunity to walk up the rustic concrete steps and sit down on the bench and grab a minute, or two.  Depending on time of the day, your companions will be dragonflies, honeybees, butterflies, and a robin or two dancing through the plants.  I might even join you.        –Robert Greene Sands

An Historic Window into Rose Haven Rehab

An Historic Window into Rose Haven Rehab

Coming Along

Merlin on ladder repairing an historic window frame.

As the rehabilitation of Rose Haven continues, and we wait our turn in having our General Contractor and subcontractors come off other projects, we are not sitting idly by.  Daily work on the gardens advances and is visible to those driving by or stopping in to see our progress.  What is less visible, but critical to the rehab, is the “pane” staking work to repair/rebuild and preservation of each of the 42 historic windows in the Rose Haven house.  

Project engineer and now window wizard David “Merlin” Steckel has become quite adept at removing the damaged windows and triaging them based on condition of the glass and frame.  He is now skilled at repairing rotted or unusable parts of the frame, putting glass back into the repaired frame and sealing (glazing) it.  Then the sash is primed and painted.  It is often tedious and exacting work and progress is slow.  David works on the windows in his garage.  When I stop by there is always music or comedy playing on his music system, probably not news; frustration is not the friend of such work.  You might wonder why we are going through this much effort on the windows. 




Historical Restoration

Merlin with some repaired historic window sashes.

One of the threads that runs through our mission, other than the important work advancing wellness and resilience programs for at-risk female Veterans, is the preservation of our circa 1892 farmhouse.  We wanted our project to include rehabbing a house in the historic district as part of our Rose Haven Center of Healing.  This will also help transform a neighborhood, and maintain the tie to Washington communities of the past. 

Pamlico Rose, along with your help is making Rose Haven more resilient, just as we will promote resilience with our female Veteran programs.  We gladly, although I am sure David at times in his garage toiling away wonders if it is worth the effort, subscribe to the guidelines for preservation that come with living in the historic district; repairing windows or building new windows from wood to match the original windows.  David is also at work repairing exterior window sills and the actual window boxes too.  We want our windows to be one of the highlights of our preservation work.  These will give residents and retreat goers great views of the gardens and landscaping and the healing that can also take place outside of Rose Haven.  (It’s also been proven that old sashes, if repaired and installed properly, can be as efficient as modern windows – “Merlin”)

— Robert Greene Sands