Tomorrow, dozens of members of the Garden Club of the Back Bay will gather in a church basement on Marlborough Street for four 11-hour days of decorating wreaths. We'll decorate a few hundred, which will appear on front doors and in homes all over the area. The proceeds from the sale will fund tree-related projects in Back Bay and other parts of Boston.
I've been a volunteer since about 2006, and I look forward to it every year. It's a zoo, but a fun and friendly one. Last year, a group of Chinese visitors were given a tour of the church basement while we were working. Later, we learned that they said we seemed remarkably cheerful, clean, educated, and well-fed... for sweatshop workers.
I'm definitely not among the more talented wreath decorators, but I work fast, so I'm considered useful. For years I worried about making ugly wreaths, so the Monday of wreath-decorating week meant clammy hands and butterflies in my stomach. But I believe I'm over that now that I'm approaching my 9th year. At least my stomach doesn't have butterflies at the moment; I guess I'll see how I feel tomorrow.
I will post photos of my wreaths here again this year, for your amusement or tedium. If I don't take those photos, I can't remember what any of my wreaths looked like within minutes of finishing them. I guess that's because I'm in my creative "zone." Or I'm spacey.
Harris helped me assemble my tools today: apron, Felco pruners, needle-nose pliers, garden gloves, hand cream, ratty latex gloves for spray painting, and surgical tape to protect my fingers from holly and thorns. He will miss me while I'm gone but he will enjoy stealing my gloves when I bring them home. He's already taken them twice.