By Laura Keil

McBride’s Norma Arneson won a provincial contest by Decoda called the Literacy is Life Contest. Decoda Literacy Solutions is BC’s literacy organization. The award will be presented on November 19th in Richmond and Nancy Taylor will be accepting it on her behalf.

Here is Norma Arneson’s literacy submission to the Decoda literacy contest:

How has literacy impacted my life? Heck, I can read and write, have managed fine all through my 84 years, and then I dipped my toe into our Robson Valley Community Learning Task Group and realized how narrow minded I was.

All of a sudden this group was spearheading a project in our small community of McBride to start and develop a community garden. Now this was something I might be interested in and yes, getting involved would require learning. Learning the importance of committees, learning the assigning of tasks, learning of applying for grants, learning how to get this dream off the ground and into reality and on and on it went.

We have built our garden with a 10ft fence to keep the deer out, have built over 20 beds and a lovely garden shed.

I, myself, have learned how diplomacy can work when involved with so many volunteers, with various ideas. I have taken on the job of making and caring for 14 hanging baskets to beautify our garden, which they have done. This responsibility of watering daily, gives me purpose in walking to the garden each morning; and by fertilizing each week, I have been dubbed The Fertility Queen. I hope next year to increase to 20 baskets.

Yes, this task group has taught me much and given me so much at this time in my life. I don’t have to sit and moan, I have to look after my vegetable bed, harvest what I want for supper, meet friends of all ages in the garden, water, weed and of course look after my 14 hanging babies. No matter how old we are, we can always learn and I am so thankful for the opportunity.