In December the members of the Plant and Dig Garden Club met at RJ’s restaurant (a last-minute switch from our original plans) for its annual Christmas gathering and gift exchange. This is always an event which everyone looks forward to, and this year did not disappoint. The party filled one side of the newly renovated lower area, and after good food, served promptly and with great efficiency, the group held its gift exchange. This year every single gift was garden-oriented and included a variety of items that can be utilized by the recipient as soon as the gardening season begins next spring.

Patt Jones, the club’s president, introduced a new way of mixing things up with a procedure which moved gifts to left, right, or “skipped turn” by means of the roll of a big dice with instructions on what to do with each roll. The group laughed — and groaned as well when a gift we had opened and were particularly thrilled with — went around, back and forth according to the instructions on the dice. In the long run everyone ended up with a nice garden gift. Many hugs and Christmas greetings were exchanged among members as they departed. Smiles were abundant on every face. Memories were tucked away for recall at a later time.

One little bit of business that the club accomplished amidst its celebrating was to designate generous monetary gifts to the local animal shelter, the Cedaredge food bank and to Pioneer Town.

With the new year, the club will be planning programs to continue its commitment to learning about all aspects of gardening. Members are urged to bring ideas to the January meeting for this purpose. The club had amazing suggestions last year which led them on numerous adventures throughout its region, and programs from its very knowledgeable members heightened their knowledge of gardening in general. It will be interesting to see what wonderful ideas the group’s members come up with this year! Information on the club’s 2020 schedule will be listed next month.

A new year — a new decade — has begun. May everyday bring to everyone joy from being close to nature and finding peace and happiness in every aspect of life. Gardening, among many other precious gifts, gives the group’s members that opportunity. Hooray for a little dirt under the fingernails and a little mud on the jeans! Life is good.

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