ARTIE THOMAS
I’m a woman who has never been busier in my life! Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Early detection was the key to a quick treatment. But at the end of it came a milestone birthday. I was tired but I wanted something to mark it so I quickly found a board and some instruction and on the day I turned 50 years old, I was out there in the surf at Newport Beach California. I joined the Wahine Kai Surf Club in Huntington Beach and have since met over 50 wonderful ladies. I was asked to be the Vice President less than a year ago. With that came the need to step out of my comfort zone and socialise including; Surf parties, Christmas parties, Halloween surfs, paddle board benefits, and photographer for the surfing. Wow! I never knew what it could be like to have so many friends.

Social media like Facebook has also been such a blessing for outreach, learning and sharing. Beyond surfing, Master Gardeners has filled in the gaps. When I was a kid, I used to listen to the transistor radio all of the time. A real radio fan. Still am. An opportunity came up to join a new project within the organisation. The Orange County University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners was looking for a team to start up a weekly radio program on gardening. RADIO?!! The university offered a course in radio to prepare and train potential on-air personalities for the college radio station. And here I am today. An introverted, socially wary woman is now infinitely busy helping with the Master Gardener team PLUS hosting her own Sunday morning music program playing what she wants and loves. So fulfilling is my life now.