Monday, February 6, 2012

Lisa Boyer: Volunteer Of The Year, 2011

Snowy days up here in the hills that still call themselves mountains, as in “West Virginia: the Mountain State;” a perfect time for me to be surrounded by family photographs and volumes of scrapbooks; the ones I have in my possession. A few of them date back almost a hundred years or so.

New Horizons' Volunteer Of
The Year, 2011
I had recklessly pulled them off the storage shelves, usually housing them, the other night. At the time I was paying little heed to the reality that the next day I would need to right the mess I made, providing visual aids for a story I was telling a friend. You know, the “a picture is worth a thousand words” kinda thing. By Sunday afternoon the disorder I created had, however, become a joy of discovery. Many tales could emerge from the adventure. Most of them more appropriately belonging on Anastasia The Storyteller. Nonetheless, there are a select few that belong right here.

In particular, there are stories that relate to photos of Lisa Boyer at various board meetings; in restaurants and at my house, indoors and outdoors. Photos of Lisa climbing up the mountainside behind my house, with me and several others.. We are hiking these brush-covered trails for an (almost) annual Veteran’s Day event; a hike that has been more “almost” than annual in recent years.

Ever the peace-builders, we’re trekking these paths to honor soldiers of the Civil War and the battles that engulfed Harpers Ferry during that era. The impact of these battles is a part of us here; reminders of the best; the dedication of our freedom fighters, and the worst; war, of America. We climb up to these encampments, see the gorgeous vistas that surround them and return to ground level in about five to seven hours. The occasional Appalachian Trail thru hikers we’ve known can do the same, in less than two hours, round trip back to my house. But who are we, the occasional hiker, to compare with these heroes of mine?

Sue saw a halo over
Lisa's head when she took
this. Who is to say it was only
the lights?
Images surface; remembrances of Lisa picking strawberries with me at a nearby organic farm, Lisa sitting quietly at New Horizons community meetings, prompted by me to share what she is thinking, the rest of us rewarded with the jewels of insight and wisdom of her clever mind. So many images; each one a precious treasure for me. Words cannot hope to convey the blessings and gifts of Lisa by my side, on my team, for more than eleven years! And, these were the difficult years; the ones when it was not quite certain that New Horizons would truly be able to ever rise again because its leader, me, had lost her eyesight (but never her vision).

What can a humble person really say to show ample appreciation for loyalty, devotion to the mission and something, going beyond those earth plane contributions, having a Lisa walking with them? Nothing really does the trick.

Small token of appreciation that it is, this past year, again, Lisa Boyer, is our Volunteer of The Year. Lucky me, lucky New Horizons and lucky you who visit our blog sites that would not even exist were it not for Lisa. Please take a moment, if you will, to read my letter of appreciation to Lisa; inadequate as it is, so you, too, can have a brief glimpse into the magnitude and gifts of her contributions to us. And, thus, also to you.

Of course, by now, Lisa, the modest one, upon reading this, is embarrassed. My gushing brings that out in her. So I will end right here with deepest gratitude to Lisa Boyer, New Horizons’ Volunteer of The Year, 2011.

From Anastasia
Up in the hills/mountains where it is very cold today.
But the sun was shining nonetheless.

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