What winning the Orchid Raffle meant to me

What winning the Orchid Raffle meant to me (or what I did on my
summer vacation)

To take a bit of license:

It was the worst of times. It was the best of times.

Last year’s gem show was 9 weeks after the death of my husband of
almost 40 years. So much for the worst of times.

Before the gem show I knew the coming year would be one of challenges
and great adventure - I would sell the family home, build myself a
new home and workshop and travel to many of our favorite places to
scatter David’s ashes; sip a wee dram of single malt whisky - scatter
some ashes; sip a rum drink in a calm anchorage - scatter some ashes.

Coming to Tucson with friends that January was a continuation of a
longstanding tradition and the beginning of my personal healing
process. Rio’s Catalog in Motion and the Orchid dinner have been
highlights in past years. After getting a stone fix, what’s better
than looking at great tools and discussing new ideas with Orchid

The winner-take-all raffle last year was a new concept and many
generous vendors had put together a tantalizing package. Thinking
mainly of supporting Orchid, I bought a few tickets - after all, I’d
never won anything. One of the most exciting prizes was Lee
Marshall’s New Concept Saw. I had been drooling on it at Catalog in
Motion and resolved that I would have one at some point.

We all know the result. Winning the raffle was such a wonderful
surprise and dealing with all the vendors who donated equipment and
services has been a delight. Most things have stayed packed away as I
was without a workspace most of the year, but when I get home the new
workshop space will be almost finished and I can unpack and begin
creating again.

What winning the raffle meant to me then was a wondrous outpouring
of support and joy - a storehouse of promise for the future. What
winning the raffle means to me now is a chance to explore new
methodologies, to fabricate with less physical stress, and a resolve
to give back to this community in whatever way I can.

It is the best of times.

Susan Bucknam
Orchid Raffle Winner 2005