2013 WINTER BOARD MEETING
Good morning! I’ve heard all my life that time flies when you’re having fun! That means that I must be having more fun that anyone I know!
September started like a greased roller coaster! Trece Chancellor, Carol Keefe and I drove to Little Rock, Arkansas for the NGC Fall Board Meeting. Actually, just being in that car was a trip! However, when we arrived, it was serious business. It was a great, informative meeting that we thoroughly enjoyed while learning a lot. We were reminded that MEMBERSHIP is still top priority for EVERY Club, EVERYone, EVERYwhere. ALL STATE PRESIDENT’S met on the panoramic top of the Peabody to discuss and exchange ideas about the problem of declining Garden Club Memberships. Now, you all know how your President gets “caught up” in causes. So, when asked by NGC President-Elect, Linda Nelson, if I would serve again on the NGC Membership Committee for her term, I said, “I would be honored.” So, Fare Warning. Alabama is going to grow!
Speaking of growing, our favorite fun sideline had to be the field trip to the Estate and Gardens of P. Allen Smith. His beautiful home and extensive gardens made me eager to get home grab a shovel. He personally led the tour of his home, made pictures with us, and autographed his lovely book. Everything was in place and ready for Southern Living to come the next day for a photo shoot. So, when it comes out in the Fall, I can say to my friends…”I’ve already seen it….in person”!! Oh, and he served us that beautiful and delicious cake made from his Mother’s recipe.
And, what an October! I attended all eight District Meetings. Each unique in their own special way. We began with District 8 at Point Clear overlooking the Gulf and hated to leave. We then wound our way to each District, ending with District I overlooking peaceful waters and reflections of turning leaves at Turtle Point in Killen, next to Florence. I won a door prize, a hugh star filled with clear sparkling crystals! What a coincidence! That was the beginning and the end, but I wish you could have seen how those in the middle shone! District 6 met in Prattville, and really showed off with decorations of beautiful cobalt blue star candle holders. I “somehow ended up with more than one” and they had a special place on my Christmas Dining table!
My own District VII honored both Trece and me by naming their meeting “Our bright morning Stars” and presented each of us with a Camellia to plant, named…..STAR. The goody bags even had “twinkle” candy. Hey, I couldn’t make this stuff up! Fall was off to a good start with District 5, because the Fall decorations were outstanding. Almost at great as the music by The Trinity Singers. District 4 was spectacular. Now, we all know that I am “off my gourd” a lot, but the Gourd Program by Missy Miles really taught me what “off your gourd” really is! District 3, in Birmingham was delightful and informative, followed by a warm and cozy luncheon in The Garden Café. District 2 truly had “A Gathering of Friends” at Lake Guntersville State Park. WOW is the word that comes to mind. The Park and Buildings are resplendent with their new “do over”. Trece and I arrived before dark for a change and had the opportunity to leisurely look around. We were both smitten! The decision was made to have an event there that you won’t want to miss……I’ll let Trece tell you about that!
I cannot thank all you District Directors enough for your untiring dedication and hard work. Stars really did fall on Alabama last October and how they did shine!
On December 7th those STARS were shining again! And “EVERY LIGHT A PRAYER FOR PEACE” did not become just another page in GCA History. It literally set a record! It’s hard to remember a better day and evening. The Tea at the Govenor’s Mansion was a rousing success with a record breaking 260 members and guests attending. My heartfelt thanks to Suzy Shepherd, whose name has become synonymous with the event, and her Garden Club that worked so hard. The Tree Lighting was both exhilarating and peaceful. That event did not ” just happen”. It took loving dedication and hard work from the members who found JOY in the making of it. MY own personal Christmas began that night, and I thank you.
Last week, Jan. 3rd, I met in Prattville with the GCA Awards Chairman, Carolyn Gray, Pam Hattemer, Past President, Carol Keefe and All 8 Districts were represented. I can tell you that your Garden Clubs are busy as bees with all kinds of projects. Jump in with enthuiasiam and have fun! Then apply for an award. You deserve it!
Jo Ann Wade, President
The Garden Club of Alabama, Inc.