Jerry Bailey, our Toastmaster of the day, began the meeting welcoming the vernal equinox, which occurred last Friday, at 6:45 pm.  This is a 24-hour period in which day and night are nearly equal in time (both almost 12 hours).  To us in the northern hemisphere, the vernal equinox means SPRING IS HERE.  For many cultures and religions it is a time of rebirth and new beginnings.


Our first speaker, Ghislaine Demombynes is a life coach and our resident author.  She is in the process of publishing her new book, “Not Too Close, Not Too Far,” which deals with her experiences and observations in child rearing — not just youngsters, but adult children as well.   The title describes the “dance” a parent performs — trying to hold a child close, while allowing  them freedom to grow and explore.  Ghislaine identified several traits that have a high impact on children.  For instance, a parent’s vision of failure may prevent a child from attempting something new because it is difficult.  However, that very struggle gives one the opportunity to acquire, modify, or reinforce skills.  Did you know that worry impedes nurturing and loving your kids?  Often worrying over children is considered a way of loving them.  However, worry begins in the head — not the heart.  An interesting and dynamic talk.


Leisha John discussed the confusion many have, when it comes to understanding our planet’s climate problems.    Recently a politician threw a snow ball in Congress and criticized those who speak of global warming because it’s March and we are still having blizzards.  Our own Governor Scott banished the term global warming when having discussions with him.  Here is something neither of these politicians seem to get — CLIMATE CHANGE IS GLOBAL, WEATHER IS WHAT’S IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.  The reality is that “global trends” indicate that the climate is getting warmer.  This causes higher evaporation over land and sea.  On our continent, California is almost out of water, and in Texas cattlemen are looking to move herds because of water scarcity.  The arctic melt is causing sea levels to rise.  Ground Zero for this harmful situation is right here in Florida.  So, what can we do?  Leisha suggested the following:

1) First, learn the basics of climate change.

2) Find out what people seeking political office know about the climate and environmental issues.

3)  Get out and vote.  Vote for the environment.


Mike Molina, our Table Topics Master, surprised members with some interesting questions:  1)  What does spring mean to you?  2) What outdoor activities do you enjoy in the spring? 3) What do you recall about springtime when you were growing up? 4) What calls you to the cold mountains in spring?  4) What benefits do you derive from going on vacation?  5)  Looking back on your youth, what are you most ashamed of?

There were some mighty good answers.  Our winners were:  Third Place – Sharon Patish; Second Place – Paula Hesch; First Place – Chris Wolfe (OMG, did we laugh! Imagine something to do with college students, smoking and General Hospital).


Susan Racher mentioned that shortly after joining Toastmasters, her husband said, “You know, you listen a little better these days.”  But, of course.  That’s what a Master Evaluator does.  Susan and her team, Jennifer Garcia and Nick Zwemer, listened carefully and reminded us all to:

Involve the audience.

If you are not giving a manual speech, let your evaluator know on what to focus.

Bring positive energy to the room.

When you are a speaker, arrive early and make sure the room is set up correctly.


This week’s Word of the Day, was “illuminate.”  IT WAS USED 22 TIMES!   Attending our next meeting?  See if you can top that!

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