Letter of Application

January 21, 2009

Dear Membership Committee Chairperson,

Please consider this letter my official application for membership in the Society of Gardeners Age 50 and Over. (SGAFO)

I have worked, studied, and planned my entire life to be admitted to this Society and I now humbly, but excitedly, present myself before the membership committee on this day, my 50th birthday, asking for your consideration of my qualifications, which include:

An interest in all things horticultural, including plants, gardens, gardening tools, and gardening books.

A lifetime of gardening experience, beginning at age two when, according to family legend, I dipped my hands into a bag of fertilizer and continuing through the years as I gained decades of actual hands-on gardening experience in all seasons.

A gardening wardrobe that includes a wide brimmed hat for protection from the sun and three pairs of gardening clogs, bought and worn well before similar footwear became popular with non-gardeners.

An ongoing, perpetual term as president of the The Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Old-Time Gardening Wisdom, Lore, and Superstition (SPPOTGWLS or “the Society”), of which I am a founding member. In addition, I was once a member of an actual garden club, though that membership lapsed quite some time ago.

A learned ability to not scream like a little girl and run the other way when encountering insects in the garden. Instead, I look them square in the eye and determine if they are friend or foe. If foe, I willingly fight the battle against them, even with my bare hands. If friends, I leave them be.

A noticeable increase in the use of the phrase “I remember when”, when discussing matters of gardening, such as “I remember when my Dad bought tomato plants at a bait and tackle store because there were no garden centers in town”. Or, “I remember when I was studying horticulture in college, we didn’t have the Internet to look up information on plants.” Or, “I remember when I took ownership of the night-blooming cereus back in ’87, how I looked forward to it blooming under my watch.” (See bloom above).

I’ve also become very adept with sentences that start out with “back when”, as in “Back when I was a kid gardening…”

An appreciation for the finer gifts of gardening, including compost, rocks, and top soil.

In addition to the above qualifications, I can provide several letters of recommendation from family and friends, both gardening and non-gardening, attesting to my interest and practice of gardening.

I can also provide a copy of my birth certificate, should you find it hard to believe that someone as young as I am is actually qualified to be in your wonderful organization, the Society of Gardeners Age 50 and Over.

Let me close by saying I have the greatest respect and admiration for all the current and past members of this wonderful society, for their plant knowledge and growing experience, for their tenacity and sense of purpose when it comes to gardening. I would be pleased to be counted as one of you.

Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions, please let me know. I eagerly await a positive response.

Yours truly,
Carol, May Dreams Gardens


Happy Birthday Carol. I support you request for membership, though I do not qualify for said membership myself:)
Katie said…
Happy Birthday Carol! Wishing you a wonderful birthday, and good luck with your application. ;0)
Happy Birthday Carol!! I fully support your membership in our exclusive organization. I hope you receive your card quickly. If you lived here you would still be enjoying the last few hours of your youth...however I hope you find that qualifying for SGAFO more than makes up for any regrets you may feel as you celebrate this important event. I wish you a hoe lot of joy and that the seeds that were planted in your youth continue to yield a wonderful harvest.
beckie said…
Happy Birthday Carol and many happy returns-to the garden of course!
HappyMouffetard said…
Happy Birthday Carol, and thank you for a post that really made me smile.
VP said…
Hi Carol - Happy Birthday!

I'll be presenting a similar letter of application in March ;)
Anonymous said…
Hi Carol and Happy Birthday - Love the post - and as I am sure that as you are now using the "I remember when" phrase your application should sail through
Happy Birthday Carol. I am sure you don't need any letters, your blog is a record of your skill as a gardener and writer. Thank you for many useful tips and lots of laughs!

Very best wishes for your half century! Best wishes Sylvia (England)
Kathy said…
Happy Birthday, Carol
I am sure that your application will sail through, but I am willing to provide any references you need.
Kathy, the already over 50 sister
Ann D. Travers said…
Happy Birthday to you Carol. Excellent letter of application. Embrace the day with joy and celebrate your new membership!
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday, Carol. We welcome you with open arms. I remember way back when they told me life begins at 30, then 40, then 50 on my birthday, and they were always right!
Unknown said…
Happy, happy, birthday Carol! I don't believe you're nearly old enough to belong to that particular group, but as a newly minted member of said group we'll let you be a most worthy honourary member! Hope you have a real fine hoedown today!
Kathy said…
Happy 50th Birthday, Carol.
Anonymous said…
Honey, you are definitely well qualified to be or do anything you'd like. I laughed at the section on not screaming like a little girl. I feel the same way.

Happy, Happy Birthday!!~~Dee
Susan Tomlinson said…
LOL! That letter is a scream. Happy birthday and welcome to the club. ;-)
Anonymous said…
Happy 50th Carol, and another half century to come!
Happy 50th, Carol! And here's to many, many more!
Cindy, MCOK said…
On condition of anonymity, I can tell you that I have spoken with a prominent member of the SGAFO and your membership has been enthusiastically approved. You should receive your membership pin in the next few weeks (each pin is custom crafted by a master artisan and tailored to the specific SGAFO inductee). Wear it proudly!
MA said…
Ahem. Excuse me. Attention please!
As a member of the Executive Board of the SGAFO, let me assure you, your application is being carefully reviewed and your references contacted. One small item, would you be kind enough to provide us with some photos of your hoe collection? I do believe it will help in our assessment of your credentials as a potential member of our esteemed organization. I look forward to discussing your application in person.
MA said…
Please disregard the premature statement from our wayward board member, MCOK, as she was speaking out of turn. We must have a review of your hoe collection, before your membership can be approved.Thank you.
Anonymous said…
Happy birthday! Here I was trying to subtly salute you on Twitter and you write a post on it.

Every new decade has been better than the previous one for me--I hope you find that is true for you as well.
Unknown said…
How great is this letter?!! Happy Birthday and one look at your hoe collection and they will welcome you with open arms, and then want to borrow one of your hoes!!
KayGee said…
Happy Birthday! I hope you get in!
Annie in Austin said…
I remember way back when I turned 50...we didn't have any of these newfangled societies like the SGAFO to join...and we didn't plant onions, little Missie, we tied them to our belts.

Happy Birthday, Carol! Fifty is fabulous!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose
Anonymous said…

You've finally reached the big five-o,
A milestone, to be sure!
And with it comes the "aging" jokes
That you must now endure.

Although your age is public news,
With us it would be fine
If you decided you'd go back
To being thirty-nine.

You really needn't bother, 'cause
You truly look so great
That no one would believe that you
Are more than thirty-eight!

So just enjoy your birthday, and
Keep doing what you do.
We don't know what it is --
But boy! It sure looks good on you!

By Betty Jo Mings
Rose said…
As a member of this society for several years now, I will heartily support your application for membership in this Society, Carol. I remember when...I thought 50 was old. No more! We're just wiser now. Happy Birthday, Carol!
Rock rose said…
Happy birthday Carol. I can assure you that gardening after the age of 50 is even better. All that experience comes into play. Wishing you many more years in the garden.
I need to start preparing myself for induction to this prestigious club. I have a few short years before I am eligible. They are fast approaching.

Congratulations on reaching this milestone! I hope you have a wonderful day!
EAL said…
We have plenty of room for you Carol, and have been eagerly awaiting your arrival!
Doctor Mom said…
You've got my vote, Carol. Glad to have you join us!
Unknown said…
Happy birthday Carol- it's wonderful having you as a long-distance friend and I hope you have a great day.
Anonymous said…
Have a lovely day, Carol - and welcome to The Club! :)
leatherneckjoe said…
Hello Carol and happy birthday!

You have a very nice blog. I am also a gardener (in Indiana) who happens to sell home and garden products through my web store, www.gardenharvestsupply.com.

I would be interested in talking with you about getting some links from your blog.

Sincerely, Joe Stutzman
Garden Harvest Supply Inc
Annie*s Granny said…
Happy Birthday from a GPS (Gardener Pushing Seventy). May your soil be rich and your garden productive for many, many more years.
LindaCTG said…
Happy birthday from Austin, Texas! As a member of this new society, you will also receive a complimentary membership to the "Ouch, my back hurts" club.

Have a good one cavorting with the bunnies in the snow. Linda
Happy birthday Carol! We've been waiting for you to reach this magcial age and join us in the club. Will you be having a hoe-down to celebrate?
Nan said…
Happy, happy birthday, Carol!! Such a witty, wonderful posting. Gosh, I've been in this society for almost 11 years now!!
Lynn said…
Happy Birthday Little Girl..
Loved the application, but not sure you are old enought for that yet. Try again in a few years!!! LOL
Happy Birthday! I look forward to the day I can join you in such a distinguished, I mean fun, group. I'm already practicing saying, "I remember back in aught-five..."
Kylee Baumle said…
Happy 50th Birthday, Carol! And welcome to The Club!
Gail said…
Carol, Happiest of Birthdays...It's a great group to join and so much fun to say all those I remember whens!

Pat said…
Happy Birthday !
Great post,congrats !
So, I guess you're a seasoned gardener... I like that better than 50 plus.
Not screaming at the little girl gave me a good laugh.
Anonymous said…
Is that the bunny marching band I see in your garden spelling out "Happy Birthday, Carol"?
Welcome to the Club Carol. I just can't believe you are, ahem, old enough to join us. Happy Birthday.
Anonymous said…
Happy, happy birthday, Carol. You've made turning 50 into a fun event. Is there anything you can't do?
Carol Michel said…
Many, many thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes and comments. It looks pretty good on this side of the hill!

I'm looking forward to all the rights and priveleges that come with being a gardener in her 50's! (There are special rights and priveleges, right? Right?)

Carol, May Dreams Gardens
Yes, Happy Birthday, and welcome to the club!

Happy Birthday Carol !! (I have been preoccupied the past few days and just saw this now).
I think you begin to relax a little when you reach this point. But if I were to be truthful .. just between you and me ? .. I still have to stiffle a scream when I see a really big, scary crawly thing .. but I catch the scream before or almost before, the neighbors hear me. I guess that comes with practise ?
In any case .. now you can really let your hair down (albeit more gray) and relax while gardening ?
Joy : )
Sue Swift said…
Happy Birthday Carol! I'm sure I speak for all the other members of the club when I say that we are honoured to have you with us.
Being still under 50, albeit slightly, this is a group I'm in no rush to join. I'm sure, like AARP, they will find me at some point. Happy birthday and good luck with their hazing initiation rites.
Jan said…
Happy Birthday...a year late;-) Welcome to the over-fifties club, I've been in it for 3 years now and I highly recommend it!