New Digs for Me, New Options for Rotary

submitted by President Andrea Kaminski

You may notice as I introduce the May 6 online meeting that my background will be a little different from that of the past few weeks. It won’t be a tropical isle created by Zoom, although that sounds nice! It will be my new home in downtown Madison. Before the coronavirus outbreak, at least in Wisconsin, my husband Tom and I made an offer on a condominium at Metropolitan Place and had it accepted. When the Governor’s Safer at Home order went into effect shortly afterward, it exempted moving services so we decided to go forward with our plans.

We lived in our house across from Edgewood College for 35 years, and it is where we raised our three kids, housed their grandmother for a few years, and hosted some 30 foreign students and professional visitors. The result was an excess of twin-size sheets, plastic hangers and board games, not to mention our family photographs.

Downsizing while social distancing presented a particular challenge, in that thrift stores, Habitat ReStore, and homeless shelters were not able to accept donations. On top of that, many of the items that seemed priceless to us seemed worthless to our kids!  We have had to move things that we will donate in the future.

Then there was the moving itself. We did it in stages: 1. Close off one bedroom and a bathroom in our old house while the movers were there; 2. Oversee the placement of furniture and boxes in the condo; 3. Go back to the house and disinfect the kitchen and the main floor; 4. Live there with almost no furniture for three nights to allow for any viral contamination in the new place to die off; 5. Finally move in!

Through all of this it has been a pleasure to be able to continue to facilitate our weekly meetings, something that would have been impossible without huge assistance and support by our Executive Director, Pat Jenkins, and the volunteer technical expertise of Brian Basken and Jason Beren. In addition, our Club directors and directors-elect, who will meet online for the second time on May 4, continue to be active leaders in guiding our Club through the new challenges facing our membership and our community. And our committees and fellowship groups continue to meet online for business and fun.

LHS April 13 2020 2

Screenshot of first time ever Virtual Scotch Whisky Lew Harned Society event held on April 13.

If you haven’t yet viewed one of our weekly online meetings, I encourage you to do so. The programs have been terrific, our committee chairs have been reporting on their activities in support of our club and the community, and the live Q&A sessions with our speakers are particularly informative. Find instructions and links for the weekly meetings and other innovative, online member connections on the home page of the Rotary Club of Madison website.

For Tom and me, the challenges of moving to a downtown condo in the time of social distancing have given us a better insight about what’s important in our own lives. The same could be said for the way the Rotary Club of Madison is creating new ways for members to connect, serve and grow.  I hope every member will stay engaged, serve the community and find fellowship through our Rotary Club, while remaining safer at home.

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