President’s Message – September 2020

I’m finding it difficult to stay positive these days. These words from Joni Mitchell keep coming to mind: Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

I’ve always known that ASG and our Columbia River Sewing Chapter have been important to me, especially in the past 10 years as I’ve gone from being a public health professional to caring for my parents. The neighborhood groups, quarterly meetings, CAB meetings, retreats, and special events have surrounded me with women who not only share my passion for sewing but also share life experiences that have helped me immensely over the years. I miss you all so much. I miss touching what you are wearing. I miss our freecycle treasures. I miss sharing a meal with you. I also miss sewing. When a COVID outbreak hit her care facility I gave up my sewing room and my free time to care for my sweet mother. I know many of you would have done the same.

But, despite the losses, I know that WE ARE STILL HERE! Our Columbia River Sewing Chapter is still very active and has exciting plans to keep our members engaged. I’m so grateful to our CAB members who put their time and energy into the ‘behind the scenes’ tasks that keep our Chapter running so smoothly.

Our Neighborhood and Special Interest Groups are continuing through social media and with virtual meetings. We are hearing that people are attending groups virtually that they would never attend in person because of the location or timing. So, there is a silver lining in this dark cloud! Look for meeting dates and times in the Chapter Calendar or a group’s page, which you can access from Groups in the top menu. This enables you to plan ahead and attend any of the group meetings. Remember, as an ASG member, you can attend as many groups as you’d like. Reach out to the group leader if you have questions about a group. They are wonderful people who are willing to help you find a group that matches your interests.

We are also making plans for Chapter-wide events in the coming months. Katrina Walker, one of our favorite teachers, will be doing two programs for us. We are excited to be able to offer the September program at no cost to our members. For those who cannot attend the live event on the Saturday, September 19, it will be recorded and available for those who pre-registered—information and registration is here. Information on the November program with Katrina will be available on GroupWorks and our website as soon as details are finalized.

Our Annual Chapter meeting will be on Saturday, December 5 on Zoom. As required by ASG National, we will finalize the election for Chapter President, Secretary, and Treasurer for the coming year. We will also have a ‘year in review’ and hear from the Neighborhood and Special Interest Groups.

Election and meeting details will be posted on GroupWorks and our website, when available.

You will notice that we are making changes to our newsletter. Now that we have gone to electronic communications, our quarterly newsletter will be more streamlined to include essential chapter information. We plan to provide interesting articles and news on a more frequent and timely basis. If you have ideas for articles or suggestions of topics, let us know.

Will we ever get ‘back to normal’? What will ‘normal’ look like? Those are questions that lots of people are now asking. I have no answers—I’m taking it one day at a time. We all have reason to be anxious these days—current events and predictions for the coming months weigh heavy. But I know that YOU ARE STILL THERE, and I know that you are still sewing, enjoying Zoom meetings, and providing friendship and support to each other. That gives me great solace and hope that our love of sewing will help get us through this mess.

Please, stay healthy, appreciate what we still have, look for the ‘silver linings’, and keep on sewing.

Jacqueline Villnave, President