Readers and Writers

I attended the Readers and Writers Department of the Fortnightly Club Wednesday afternoon. I've been a member of the group for a few years and really enjoy the meetings.

Our topic for the meeting was "A Family Reunion." We don't have to write about the topic each month, but having a topic narrows down the vast number of topics we could select for a reading or a writing project.

Six of us were present at the November meeting. June Asper wrote about a special childhood friend who grew up to be a member of the Mannheim Steamroller musical group. We all thought June should get a copy of her short essay to her friend.

Esther Bordwell read from a book by Barbara Kingsolver titled Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Kingsolver is a novelist, but this book chronicles her family's goal of eating only the food they could grow for a year. Esther read about a family reunion the author had for her 50th birthday.

Mary Dawson had missed a few meetings, so she brought a few readings that she had written for those meetings. She brought a T-shirt with her emblazoned with an old picture of four little girl cousins taken long ago. It was a wonderful T-shirt.  One of her writings was about a precious childhood memory.

I wrote about a family reunion that will take place in heaven when members of my family are reunited. I didn't know why images of the reunion arose until I remembered that my only niece (at the time) died on Nov. 12. She was only 3 years old. She died 37 years ago yesterday.

Joanne Breen and Patty Roe were present yesterday, but they didn't have a reading or a writing to share with the group. Both of them are very good writers.

Absent members were Christal Arthur, Ellen Krueger, Shirley Pfeifer, Sally Reighard and Nan Stark.

Reading and writing are often solitary activities, so it's a real pleasure to meet with other readers and writers. Our usual meeting is the second Tuesday of the month, but since Tuesday was Veterans Day and our usual meeting place, the library, was closed for the holiday, we met a day later.

Much of the business meeting was talk of the Fortnightly Club's anniversary luncheon that will take place Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the Washington Kirkwood Regional Center. Our program will be a tour of the new facility. Readers and Writers and the Adventures in Living Department will host the luncheon.

The Fortnightly Club was organized on Nov. 28, 1896. In our annual program book is the list of past presidents dating back to 1896. The other departments are Creative Living, Garden, and Washington County History. There were many more departments in the not-so-distant past, but the membership is declining, which is a problem many social and service clubs deal with these days.

Fortnightly has special projects the members work on including Washington Welcome signs, the garden in front of Washington's city hall, the General Fortnightly Scholarship, ONEighty Teen Center (formerly Hamakua Place), Lending Hands, Hospice of Washington County, Genealogy Library, Washington Public Library, and the flower garden at WCDC.

The next Fortnightly meeting with all of the departments present will be the May Breakfast.