Like many of you, I love to learn. I particularly love to learn more of my own family history which makes our American history so much more personal. I enjoy meeting women from all across our country and our world and learning why they value their membership in DAR.
However, one of the steepest learning curves for me was adjusting to life in the country. My family had lived in Houston for generations when I met my husband who was raised on the family’s land in central Texas. The day we met I was wearing jeans and boots and playing George Strait on the radio. What else did I need to know?
Well, I knew fences in our area where made of barbed wire but not that the wire is held onto the posts with clips. I thought newborn calves were cute but didn’t have a clue how to help a cow who was having complications with a delivery. I knew how to drive a stick shift sedan but was stunned at the complexity of driving a tractor the size of my garage. It’s a shame we didn’t have YouTube videos to teach me what I needed to know to participate at our ranch! But let’s just say that in the 25 years of our marriage, I can now build fence, work cattle and drive a tractor (although I still prefer the riding mower).
There is still a great deal to learn and I may never master driving the bulldozer or baling hay. But I have learned to work cattle, build fence, keep a respectable distance from cactus and to make do with the food in the pantry rather than running to the grocery store. I’ve learned we have quite a variety of insects and in fact, swept up five dead scorpions in the house the other day. I’ve learned that our ancestors must have been very tough to endure the temperature extremes – just take a look at thermometer from the other day, which by the way, is in the shade!
It reminds me of how much I learned as a new DAR member when our chapter regent insisted I go to our state’s district workshop. I enjoyed hearing reports and the creative ways in which our members achieve our goals of preservation, education and patriotism.
Please do take advantage of the opportunities we have to learn more about our organizations and our positions. Attend your state workshops or forums and encourage your chapter to host an orientation meeting for new members. We have tremendous resources on the Members’ Website now with Manuals for Chapter Regents, Webinars including DAR 101 and Let’s Talk Membership and Genealogy Education Programs courses.
And yes, I’m still learning. I realize there is a great deal to learn about my new position and am truly grateful for the experienced staff and the knowledgeable and supportive Honorary Presidents General.