Saturday, September 23, 2006

Not A Joiner, Honest

I really am not a joiner. I'm much more inclined to be a hermit. So, how is it that I have managed to become a member of several organizations? I really am not a leader. So, how is it that I keep getting elected president of said organizations?

When I first came to Harrison, I opened the door one day to a very friendly little woman, wreathed in smiles, and announcing herself as the "Welcome Wagon". Cleone was a tiny woman, with a great big voice, and an infectious laugh. She was outgoing in a way that I always wished I could be.

I invited her in, gave her a cup of coffee, and she immediately began pulling goodies out of the basket she was carrying with her. She really was the "Welcome Wagon" lady, a position she held for many years. She pulled out coupons for almost every retail business in town. There were other goodies, too, all donated by the various businesses. They came in very handy.

Then, she said, "The Newcomers Club meets once a month, on Tuesday." I'll pick you up next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. " Well, I explained that I had these two pre-school children at home, and so much to do, and I couldn't possibly, etc., etc., and she just smiled and nodded. "Nine,a.m., and we have a daycare facility for the children." What a pushy little broad.

Thus began my journey into the unknown waters of womens' clubs. They mercifully let me out of the Newcomer's Club after I had dutifully served one year as president, in which I did a truly dreadful job. I'm way too shy to conduct meetings.

Then, my friend Shirley decided that I needed to join her sorority - the Alpha Mu Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA), which was actually a philanthropic organization not unlike every other women's club. I couldn't actually turn her down, I felt, because her husband was my husband's partner. Anyway, I figured I could just sit back and attend meetings and help out with projects and not call attention to myself.

After about a year learning the ropes, the ladies decided I should be their next president. I explained what a horrible president I would be, citing my miserable failure with Newcomers, and they weren't put off in the least. "We'll help you", was the cry.

In addition to the national, ongoing project, raising money for St. Jude's Hospital, we were expected to have local philanthropic projects as well. At that time, this area didn't have a Humane Society, and there was definitely a need for one. So, we decided to make that our project for the year. We usually had several projects throughout the year, but this was going to be such a big job, we made it our only one for that year.

Our main money-making project every year was our Holiday Tasting Tea. We hired a hall and everyone made party foods to be "tasted" by anyone who bought tickets. We also provided recipes to each dish, and it was a great success. We also had a couple of big yard sales a year, which brought in a substantial amount.

There were only about twenty of us in the club, and we worked very hard to get the Ozarks County Humane Society up and running. Things went very smoothly all year, and the community leaders were more than generous, but it became obvious that we were going to need more time if we were to do it right.

So, guess who got to be president for another year. "We'll help you........"

And, they did help. Those ladies did everything asked of them and more. So, about halfway through the second year, we had purchased some land and built kennels, hired someone to run the operation (along with some of our members who were willing to volunteer their time), and started taking in the strays. At the end of that year, satisfied that the Humane Society was running smoothly, we turned it over to the county and it is still in operation today.

Alpha Mu is no more, but we can still point to the Ozarks Humane Society as an accomplishment of which we can be proud.

Then the Boone County Democratic women came calling. I've already described that experience, but, as always, it all started with "We'll help you."

And, I fell for it, again.


patsy said...

Harrison woman hello from a demorcate from green forest. glad to find your blog.

patsy said...

i love mystery books i just read your book review and you put me on to a new writer. thanks.

patsy said...

just read you post about jfk's death, i even agree with you on that. you are one smart cookie. lol

gawilli said...

That is quite an undertaking. It sounds like you are a leader, even though you don't think so. Service clubs are essential when the "village" needs to step forward. Bravo!

Gary James said...

I guess your true vocation always catches you at home sooner or later ;-)

Ginnie said...

One of the most life-changing thing that I ever learned was/is to say "no". It works wonders.

Betty said...

Welcome, Patsy!

Ginnie: I've learned to say "no", now. Back then, I was just a gullible girl. lol

saz said...

Betty - Someone who is quietly intelligent makes a great leader. You may think you're shy but apparently others don't see you that way. Just from reading your blog I can understand why people immediately identify you as capable!

Betty said...

Thank you Saz: I have them all fooled. Actually I have a mind like an unmade bed! lol

Tink said...

Quickie: I used your suggestion about the cows. Thank you again!! When I read your comment I told Hoop, "Well no kidding. DUH." he he

George said...

Hi all
It is a good idea to start using enviromentally safe and animal friendly (non-toxic) substitutes when grooming your dog. You must groom your dog's whole body including the legs, tail and underbody if you want to do it right. You must groom certain dogs from the skin outward to truly be effective in taking care of their coat of hair and keeping it healthy. Comb through the unseen healthy hair and remove the shedding hair; this is what most groomers do first before cutting your pet's coat. You must groom some animals all at once, while some other animals have so much hair that it is easier to do a little at a time each day.