“When life hands you lemons….you make lemonade.” Those were the words spoken by a dear friend a little over a year ago as he placed a large bottle of lemonade on my kitchen counter and announced he had cancer. I was so stunned, I couldn’t even cry.
Often, I think of that day and wonder where that year went. We will be attending his funeral this week and I’m still in shock. We lost our best friend, Rotary lost a very supportive and active Rotarian and the world lost a man who gave much of himself to others. As your District membership chair, I often receive statistic reports and ponder the membership gains and losses. Even with those, we must all realize that those numbers represent people, Rotarians, and we need to “let them know we care before they will care what we know.” 
I know the pandemic was a major hit to nearly all of our clubs and we are still recovering. We continue to have members who are still fearful of the spread of Covid and won’t return to meetings because of that fear. We have members who have “drifted away” …yes, they still pay dues but we never see them at meetings, service projects or even social gatherings. Hopefully, we are reaching out to them individually and not letting a “year” go by without some sort of personal contact. Do they know we care about them as people?
One of our District members, who has been ill and not able to attend club meetings in person, has decided to attend all the virtual club meetings he can. He simply “shows up” at those clubs who have the virtual option available and gets to explore our District in quite a different, but enjoyable way. I plan to follow his lead as we embark on 2023. Travel can sometimes be an obstacle, but we can make lemonade out of our lemons. And he has.
This holiday season I wish for each of you the love of family and friends, the deep-seated happiness in serving others, and the joy of learning even more about Rotary and what Rotarians do. We are a unique group of people who give, and give and yes, give to others in so many ways. And yet, when life hands us lemons – we can make lemonade!
Kathy Buck
Rotary Club of Emmett
District 5400 Membership Chair