President’s Message

Happy New Year!

What a magnificent holiday luncheon and fundraiser we had in December!  Thank you to all who worked diligently to make it happen!  Sandy, Jan, Joyce, everyone who solicited donations, everyone who bid and bought gift certificates, and marvelous Michael Belmont, who not only wrote a song for the occasion which we all sang, but also donated CD’s for purchase, with all proceeds going to the club.  The silent auction raised more than $1500 to cover our student scholarships for 2020, hurrah!  It was a magical afternoon altogether!  Thank you one and all.

I’m up to my eyeballs in yearbook, profile book, Google for Nonprofits and web site updates.  Anybody out there with some computer skills?  I could really use some help!  This job makes me so keenly aware of all the work Linda Patten has been doing for Hoe and Hope for so many years.  I am so grateful to her for continuing to publish our monthly newsletter.  Thank you, Linda, Wonder Woman!

Our first meeting of the year is at the church on Wednesday, January 22, 11:30 for lunch, meeting at 12:15, and program at 1.  Janell is working hard to confirm all our programs in time for publishing in the yearbook.  She also organizes hosting duties for each meeting.  If you haven’t signed up yet for hosting duties, she will be in touch with you this week.  Anyone who doesn’t pick a date will be assigned.

Sandy is in charge of membership dues.  If you haven’t paid your dues yet, and you want to be in the yearbook, you need to get a check or Zelle payment to Sandy before January 8.

I spent part of this holiday season reading the Pulitzer Prize winning novel,  The Overstory by Richard Powers.  It is a wondrous tapestry of intersecting short stories of people whose lives find meaning in the study, appreciation and protection of trees.  The focus is on old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest as well as in the Amazon, Papua New Guinea, and so many places around the globe, which are being destroyed by greedy humans with short-sighted understanding of the importance of trees to the survival of life, human and all other, on our fragile planet Earth.  Here is some food for thought:

“We found that trees could communicate, over the air and through their roots. We found that trees take care of each other. We discovered how seeds remember the seasons of their childhood and set buds accordingly. We discovered that trees sense the presence of other nearby life. That a tree learns to save water. That trees feed their young and synchronize their masts and bank resources and warn kin and send out signals to wasps to come and save them from attacks. A forest knows things. They wire themselves up underground. There are brains down there, ones our own brains aren’t shaped to see. Root plasticity, solving problems and making decisions. Fungal synapses. What else do you want to call it? Link enough trees together, and a forest grows aware.”

“Something shines out, a truth so self-evident that the words dictate themselves. We’re cashing in a billion years of planetary savings bonds and blowing it on assorted bling.”

―   Richard Powers, The Overstory

During this season of rest and renewal, be sure to take time to read a good book, enjoy time with friends and family, appreciate the remarkable trees and wildlife surrounding us, and stay curious.

Debbie