As I write this, we are having the season’s first hard freeze in Texas. Our streets are lined with tropical plants wrapped or draped in colorful sheets and beach towels and looking like enormous Christmas packages. It’s our attempt to save the plants from freezing. It rarely works if the freeze lasts more than 24-hours.
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away. In honor of this special day, I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to each of you for your continued commitment to RMOWP, its stewardship of the great outdoors, and your quest to improve your craft. From our executive director to board members to committee members to conference participants and to each and every one of you, I would like to thank you for your generosity, dedication, time, and willingness to continue to share your gifts, talents, and friendship.
What a wonderful conference we had in Golden! It was great to see so many familiar faces and spend time together. We have noticed, however, a discouraging trend. Our RMOWP membership numbers are falling, mostly due to change-of-life issues. During our General Membership meeting, we discussed a variety of ways to reach out to potential new members, including recruiting local photography and writing clubs, schools, and those we meet while exploring our respective crafts.
As I write this, I’m sitting under a canopy of pines near Athens, Georgia. Yellow daffodils and the redbud trees are beginning to bloom. David and I are on our first camping trip with our new Golden Retriever pup, Samantha. Tomorrow we visit our granddaughter who studies at the University of Georgia. Then we turn south to visit our 16- and 12-year-old grandkids. We haven’t seen them since the spring before all the lockdowns began… nearly three years ago. I’m bracing myself for how much they have grown.
Every new year brings an opportunity for a new beginning. This is an especially true statement for David and me this year. We have welcomed a new addition to our family. Meet Samantha, our Golden Retriever puppy. For those of you who remember our beloved Roxanne, you will know this step was a long time in coming for us. We lost Roxanne over five years ago. We thought it was time to open our hearts again to another.
It was wonderful to see so many of you in Alamogordo during last month’s RMOWP conference. We were delighted to meet new member Steve Cochrane and his wife Megan, and spend time with twenty-two RMOWP friends. For me, it was a true joy just to feel a sense of cautious normalcy as we reunited in camaraderie and shared interests.
One of David’s and my evening rituals includes sitting on our deck, enjoying the antics of our many bird friends. It is a quiet and simple time for us. It is a time of decompression from the day and whatever challenges may have come with it.
Springtime in Texas is a wonderful sight. Enormous clusters of wildflowers bloom along roadsides, in pastures, and in our yards. Like most Texans, David and I enjoy taking an annual pilgrimage to view this amazing array of colors.