Dick VanderLinde builds intricate birdhouses in Armstrong. (Carrie O’Neill Contributed)

Dick VanderLinde builds intricate birdhouses in Armstrong. (Carrie O’Neill Contributed)

Vernon man harnesses creative juices to construct custom birdhouses

COLUMN: Don’t underestimate the power of creativity

Carrie O’Neill

Special to the Morning Star

The passion of a dream can never be underestimated, nor the power that integrates. I have not come across a stronger example of this than through the eyes of a dear friend.

His life has been far from uneventful; full of adversity.

One could say that through faith and connection, Dick VanderLinde, has conquered many battles; all of which have brought him to where he is today.

A quote often heard from him goes like this: ‘One doesn’t have anything to do with the other.’

With many health challenges, including living with leukaemia today, VanderLinde says he has never been happier in his life.

As a young boy, he felt pulled towards old buildings; buildings that were decrepit and on the brink of falling down.

“I would watch shows with the old general stores in them from the early 1900s, and always wanted to be a part of that; I wanted to fix them up,” says VanderLinde.

Little did he know that many years later, he would be doing just that.

These birdhouses are a masterpiece work of art, each uniquely created, never duplicated.

VanderLinde has tapped into his true passion of creating or rather recreating. Along with the birdhouses, he has also been building ladder plant shelves, made from beautiful rustic and new wood.

There is a quote that says, ‘unused creativity metastasizes,’ and this holds true for VanderLinde. For individuals who struggle because they don’t think of themselves as creative, there can be shame. They may think that creativity is hedonistic, or perhaps that it is not productive enough in their life. For some, creativity is shut down in childhood. But what happens is that if creative flow within is not put to use, it has the potential to turn into resentment, bitterness, sickness, grief and/or heartbreak. Some may never awaken to the beauty that lies within but that is not the case for VanderLinde. His healing journey has been colourful, with many ups and many downs.

I would have to say that at the core of his healing path, being of service to others has been the primary medicine.

VanderLinde has always been gifted with creating things, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that the juices really began to flow.

“I don’t believe in coincidences”, says VanderLinde. “God always puts people on my path to either be helped or to help; either way the blessings are always right in front of me.”

Through his giving heart, VanderLinde was connected with a man who would become a dear friend. This gentleman opened the doors of his carpentry shop on the old Coldstream Ranch property.

“This is where the magic happens,” VanderLinde says.

It is in this space that his passion is unleashed and glorious things happen.

There is a wide variety of birdhouses available such as Bed & Breakfast, Country Cape Cod, Cabin in the Woods, Community Church, Fixer Upper (which was made from 100-year-old wood), Dairy Barn, and more. You can pick from his inventory or have one specially made just for you!

Passion comes from the heart, not the head. VanderLinde has tapped into his and his health is improving. His hematologist told him recently, “whatever you are doing, keep doing it, your health is improving!”

To see more of the creations, you can go to Linde’s Gifts and More Facebook.

He is hoping to be at the Armstrong and Vernon Farmers Market and can be reached at 250-308-4070!


Dick VanderLinde builds intricate birdhouses in Armstrong. (Carrie O’Neill Contributed)

Dick VanderLinde builds intricate birdhouses in Armstrong. (Carrie O’Neill Contributed)

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