President’s Message: Fall 2011

The first weekend in September always marks the end of Summer. This past season has been a study of extremes. Too hot, or dry, or wet or you-name-it! Yet through it all, we persevered and reaped the benefits of our labors. Perhaps we should celebrate Labor Day as gardeners, too. For some, it is time to freeze and can, putting up jams and jellies, getting those fruit pies into the freezer for use during the cold months that will surely come along. It is such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when we have worked hard on a project that is complete. Who doesn’t love a pat on the back? Wouldn’t we all like to hear Job Well Done!

Many Branches and Divisions are starting to meet after a long summer hiatus.  The reunions are such joy; what have you been doing? Any new grandchildren? Which trip did you enjoy the most? Tell me about the gardens you visited. Any new ideas for speakers this year or next? Can you suggest a good book/movie for us to review? These are but a few of the conversations that buzz about the room as members connect with each other and renew friendships.

There is much work to be done this season. We have all had occasions that caused us to delay clean up until Spring.  Oddly enough, the work waited patiently until we were ready for the task. This year, Farm & Garden needs work, too. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for the Spring season, our tasks are more pressing. The nominating Committee will be hard at work searching for  new officers for the next two year terms. We will need two Treasurers, two Secretaries, a Vice President and other Committee Chairmen to complete our list of officers. Perhaps you can say YES to the phone request. Don’t under estimate your qualifications for the job.  Many years ago, I had a teacher that rarely gave an A grade to any student. She had the reputation of a tyrant in class. I was unlucky enough to have her for English Literature.  Included in the syllabus was a study of poetry. Our mid term paper was due; we were given 3 topics from which to choose. I strayed from the beaten path, again, and chose my own theme: Comparison of 2 poems.  A few days after the deadline, the teacher announced 2 papers would be read by the authors to the class: one with grade A, the other a failing F. My paper was chosen to be read, and I was red-faced as I walked to the front of the class. I waited patiently while the “A” paper was read, sure that my renegade topic had failed miserably. At the end of the first reading, I walked to the podium and looked to the back of the room at the teacher. Rather than instruct me to begin, she asked for comments about the first paper. There were none. She then said: “And now, we will hear the “A” paper. You will all notice a difference.”  I nearly floated to the ceiling as I read my paper to the class. That vote of confidence from one individual was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. From that day, I have been able to share with gratitude and self-belief that I had never experienced prior to that accolade.

Each of our members, too, has a talent to share. The National level hasn’t always communicated well with the Branch members. We are trying hard to change that perception. As Branch Members, you can meet us half-way by stepping up to jobs that need to be filled.  We will give you confidence to complete tasks, help with your “topic”, and accolades for a job well done. I wish everyone a pleasant and beautiful season filled with wonderful fruits of your labors.