Tag Archives: Rotary

Welcoming visitors from far and near

17 Sep

It will come as no surprise for me to say “Life has been busy!”  For four days last week we were lucky to be visited by a couple from Scotland, Andy and Ryan Bond, who were traveling with fellow Scots on a Rotary exchange.  They traveled all the way to Oregon and spent two weeks visiting various Rotary clubs around the state.  As part of their visit to Oregon, these folks had a chance to tour the coast at Newport and the Rotary club there made sure that they had a fabulous time.

Ashland was the last stop on the journey for many of the Scots, though some of our visitors did plan to extend their trip into Vancouver, B.C.  We met our  guests on Tuesday and had a lovely dinner together.  I think that Rotary has a great idea here:  visitors come to a new city and are greeted by Rotarians… and are hosted by Rotarians, and are shown around the area by Rotarians.  It is a great way to see a new area… and make new friends along the way.

One of the goals of this “program” is to break down barriers, find common interests, and forge new friendshps.  That was easily done with our guests.  Andy and I found that we both loved to cook and bake… and we also shared an interest in contests!  She is a wonderful baker and one of her specialties is making traditional cakes covered in marzipan.  From the way she describes them, I just know that they are delectable!

Saturday was our last day with Andy and Ryan and I asked Andy to visit the Rotary Garden with me.  On the way I saw a sign for a yard sale and thought Andy might like to see what we call a yard sale here in Southern Oregon.  After a few minutes of browsing the items for sale, I could tell that Andy was sorry that the weight limit on checked luggage is 50 pounds!

We are so lucky to be a part of this amazing organization.  Through our participation in Rotary, we have made friends around the world.  Our world view is greater because we are not isolated from the rest; we can see that we are all connected.  And that is a wonderful thing.

What does this have to do with a pie?  Well, give me another moment and I will explain.

Quiche prep

Today I made a quiche for a couple who run a business in Ashland.  They are both hardworking, caring people.  They are amazing to me because they help out a man who has few options.  This man is like a visitor in a way.  He lives simply, doesn’t ask for much, but he needs help.  And these folks give it to him when they can… not because they have to… but because it is the right thing to do.

Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes

I’ve gone to church all of my life… and I think I know how we “should” live.  And I believe that these folks are doing it.  Just because.  I am truly touched by their simple act of grace and wish that we all could give of ourselves as easily and without judgement.   It seems like a nice dream anyway.

Finished Quiche

“If you can’t fee a hundred people, then feed just one.”  Mother Teresa

 

 

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.

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