Tag Archives: Rotary Garden

Day 351: Linda (and Chuck)

22 Mar

Apple Blueberry Pie

When I think about my life, I realize that it is mostly a collection of memories that are held together by tiny threads.  This tapestry of memories is not something you can see, but if you could look at it, you would learn a lot about who I am and what is important to me.  

Here is an example for your to consider.  A few years ago, a long-time member of our Rotary club passed away.  The club members were told that there was going to be a service for him and if anyone wanted to help with food or anything, they should call Linda as she was coordinating the event.

As I had already committed to working in the Rotary garden that morning, I knew that I could not attend the service, but I called Linda and asked if she needed any help afterwards.  When I reached her, she said that she didn’t need any food so I was off the hook.  I told Linda that I wasn’t offering food, but I could come and work in the kitchen if she needed any help there.  She seemed a bit surprised, but told me to show up and introduce myself and she would put me to work.

The next day, after helping in the garden, I went home, changed into “presentable” attire and went to meet the crew in the kitchen at the Methodist Church.  When I arrived, I found a bunch of ladies  arranging food on platters, clearing trash from the dining room, and washing dishes.  I met Linda and then got busy wherever I was needed.  After a while, I asked to take a turn at the dish sink.  The little old woman who’d been washing, stepped aside, and asked  me what church I belonged to.  I told her “the Presbyterian Church on Walker.”  She watched me working for a few minutes and then asked, “Have you ever thought of becoming a Methodist?”  It still makes me smile to remember that moment.

Linda and her husband, Chuck, are wonderful members of our community, and they always are giving of their time or talents.  And because they would never expect it, I brought them an Apple Blueberry Pie today.  My guess is that they will share it with some of their employees… but I hope they enjoy a bit of it for themselves.  They most certainly deserve it.

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us: what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.  Albert Pike

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 349: Chet and Donna

20 Mar

Apple, Date, and Pecan Pie

Many years ago, I attended an afternoon party held at the home of a lady from the Ashland Rotary Club.  My husband was at work and he had suggested that I go to the party to meet some of the other members of the club.  However, once I got there I realized that I didn’t know anyone and felt a little bit uncomfortable. I think I was hanging out by the food table when Chet came over to me and said something like, “Are you famous?”  It was a silly question but it made me laugh and helped me relax and enjoy the party.

For the last few years,  I have spent time with Chet, Donna, and other Rotarians at the Rotary Garden.  It’s been such a great experience growing fresh vegetables for the Ashland Emergency Food Bank – and the camaraderie that develops as a result is pretty special too.

Last year at the garden, Donna told me that she had been inspired by my pie project (See Day 177).  I was honored that she was moved to do something nice for someone that she had never met… and she seemed delighted too!

Last month, on Donna’s birthday, she brought some of her special Lemon Posset to my house.  It was incredibly delicious and I loved that she included me in her birthday celebration.

Today I brought Chet and Donna a Dutch Apple Pie enhanced with dates and pecans.  I want to thank them for welcoming me way back then… and also for their continued friendship.  It means a lot to me.

Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.
Muhammad Ali

Day 292: Marshall brings Hakatai tiles to Helman School

23 Jan

Marshall Malden showing a mosaic to the class at Helman Elementary

As a member of the Ashland Rotary I have gotten to know quite a few of the local business owners in town.  We see each other at meetings of course but you can really get to know them better if you participate in one or more of the club’s activities.  In our club you might help with the Rotary Garden,  the Rotary Run, or the annual Holiday Dinner to name a few.  In addition, we have something called “The Circle of Friends” where a small number of Rotarians meet once a month at a member’s house or business and share a lunch.  At that time the host tells “the friends” about their business, their family, and their life.

A few years ago, Marshall and I were members of the same circle and one day he hosted the lunch at his place of business, Hakatai Enterprises.  There Marshall told us the story of his career and how he had traveled to many places around the world and how he was now importing glass tiles from China.  After he told us about his life, he took us on a tour of his warehouse and showed us some of the beautiful mosaics that had been made with the tiles.

Near the end of the tour, I saw several boxes of tiles and I asked him if there were ever any tiles leftover after a mosaic had been made.  He said that at times there were and asked why I was interested.  That’s when I told him about my friend Mia, a kindergarten teacher at Helman Elementary.  I told him that she is always on the lookout for things that her students can use for art projects and I knew she would have a field day with those tiles.   That day Marshall sent be off with a box of tiles for Mia.

A week or so ago I emailed Marshall and asked if he would please come to Mia’s class and talk about his tile business and to bring some tiles with him if it was possible.  Marshall wrote that he could come to the class when he returned from a trip and we agreed to meet at Helman School today.

When we arrived Mia was reading a book about the Chinese New Year to her students.  I thought, “We could not have timed this any better!”  After a few moments, Marshall was introduced and he showed the children some examples of the mosaics that had been created using his tiles.  Then he spoke a little about the tile making process and answered questions.  Finally he showed the students the box of glass tiles that he had brought for them.  It was really great to see the kids so engaged.

To thank Marshall for his graciousness and generosity, I had to do something nice for him… and I thought that he might like a Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche.  It was the very least I could do to express my gratitude for his kindness.

Day 164: Good News!

17 Sep

Saturday mornings I try to make it out to the Rotary Garden. There is a group of us who meet each week to work in the garden – and that may mean mowing, weeding or harvesting. Last year our club donated more than 3,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.

Our volunteers vary from week to week because we all tend to be involved in many areas. There are a few folks that are always at the garden and then there are the rest of us. Last week I missed working at the garden on Saturday because I had worked late the night before. And even though I needed to take the time off, I really missed my time at the garden.

Today the number of gardeners was small, but three of us had brought treats to share. Since the food bank was closed for the weekend while it changes locations, our workload was a bit lighter than usual. Our new leader mowed the grass, while the rest of us harvested potatoes, onions, green beans, squash and tomatoes. And of course we found time to catch up with one another and taste the goodies that were provided.

It was during one of these breaks when one of our volunteers shared her good news with us. And while I can’t divulge her news, I want you to know how happy we all were to hear it. And that was as good a reason as any for a pie.

This afternoon I made my friend a sausage and mushroom quiche to celebrate her good news. And because she is such a busy person, she was not home when I tried to deliver her pie (nor did she answer my repeated phone calls). When she did finally return home and got my message, she returned my call and we arranged for her to get her quiche early tomorrow morning.

The weird thing about this? This woman had spent the evening at a friends house down the street from my house! Isn’t that strange? She was on my mind and down the street… but I had no way of knowing. Oh well. She knows that I was thinking of her and she will (eventually) get her quiche. And for today, that is the best that I can do.

Day 94: Happy 70th Birthday to Ashland Rotary!

9 Jul


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Tonight there was a celebration for the 70th Birthday of the Ashland Rotary Club. There are nearly 34,000 Rotary Clubs in the world and their stated purpose, according to Rotary International, is to “bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.”

My husband joined the Ashland Rotary Club in 1995. I have been making birthday cakes for this club for more than 12 years and a few years ago was made an Honorary Member of the club (an honor that few people have received). We have been active in many of the club’s activities (The Taste of Guanajuato, The Rotary Garden, The Shut-In Holiday Dinner to name a few). Some people think that you join Rotary (or other service clubs) to gain access to community members and maybe improve your business. That may be true – but if you join Rotary to gain you’ve missed the point.

Rotary is a primarily a service organization – and their motto is “Service above Self.” We have met wonderful people in this organization who model this behaviour everyday. We know doctors who have raised money for hospitals in Africa; we know others who have raised money to eradicate polio; and still others who have helped raise money to build homes for impoverished folks in Mexico. Ashland Rotary is an amazing community of people and we are proud and honored to be associated with them. Both of our children have been Rotary Exchange students – my daughter spent a school year in Denmark, my son spent one in the Czech Republic. What a gift it was for them to spend time living abroad and learning about another culture while still so young.

I could go on and on about Rotary and would gladly share with you any information that I have. Tonight, I’d like to toast the Ashland Rotary Club for 70 years of community service and would like to congratulate the men and women of this club – for all that they have accomplished thus far and for all that they aspire to do in the future. We are happy to a part this incredible fellowship.

Some Days are Harder than Others

17 Apr

It seems as if I have been going all day.  There was so much to do today… My first (self-imposed) task was to make a delicious treat for the volunteers who were working on the grounds at the soon-to-be open Medford Food Co-op.  I was unable to participate in the cleanup day but I wanted to share my gratitude to the folks that are working to make this dream a reality.   Fortunately, I was able to connect with someone who was able to take my offerings to the work party.  (Thank you Amy!!!)

My next priority was to make a treat for the Rotary Garden volunteers.  At first I thought that I would have time to work in the garden, but soon it became clear that I would not have time to go there today…. my dance card was overflowing.  I called around and found that Tim was able to pick up the bagels I made for the gardeners.   I hope that he conveyed my sincere desire to be there among them!

Later in the day, I spent time with friends helping another family during a most difficult time.  I brought sweets (that is my favorite thing to make) and it seems that they were appreciated.   We visited and shared a few laughs as well as many tears.   It seems that this is what loved ones do.  We help each other through life’s challenges.

And just so you know, I also made a pie today.  It was a simple gesture of reconciliation.  Fresh fruit, lovely pastry, butter and brown sugar.  What could be more wonderful?

I hope that you all had a lovely day and I look forward to sharing a delicious pie with you tomorrow.

Hugs, and many thanks for joining me on this journey,

Karen

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