It isn’t unusual to follow stories on Front Porch Forum of owners looking for and reconnecting with their lost pets. From dogs and cats to goats, chickens and pigs, we’ve seen it all. However, the story of Murphy, a runaway golden retriever, and how he captured the hearts of Vermont communities is very special. So special, that Wilson Ring, FPF member and the state’s correspondent for the Associated Press, wrote a book about it.
“see a glimpse of how a small Vermont town rallied together to help bring Murphy home.”
Read the story of Catching Murphy, documented through local neighborhood FPF posts.
Everyday items are bought and sold on FPF. Some of our members do it with humor:
“I have a table. I have run out of places to put it. You need a table. Or maybe you would if you got rid of that piece of crap you are using for one now and took mine! Plywood and blocks are OK for a college student, but at your age, you should move up to real wood. Old wood. Wood made before Hawaii was a state. Before plastics were invented. Wood. Oak, in fact. Such oaky goodness like you never see anymore. The kind that will make you want to wake up in the morning just to go sit in front of it, but please, use a coaster? I am dropping the price. I will deliver it. And I’ll carry off your plywood and cinderblock thing. Email me, but be fast. The last stuff I posted is all gone and it had a much worse ad. I expect a deluge of emails. (I’m hoping people will quit with the marriage proposals already!) You snooze, you lose! Oh yeah, blockchain, bitcoin, stormy dangles, yada yada. Buy the table.” • Forrest in Randolph
“Whooee! Forrest, you did us all a favor. I am still laughing. Talk about livening up the culture here on Front Porch Forum! I would gladly reward your fine on-line behavior by buying your table, but I really don’t need a table. Too bad. But anyway, it must be on its way to new owners this weekend after razzle-dazzle like that.”
• Josie in Randolph Center
Front Porch Forum members routinely recognize the volunteers who give graciously in their communities.
“I managed to make a spectacular fall this past winter and ignored the pain until it was 2 AM on a very snowy night. Unable to get out of bed, I called 911 and within 10 minutes an ambulance with four young people backed down my 6” deep snow covered drive to my front door. Four young people put me on a stretcher and carried me to the waiting ambulance.
On the way to the hospital I discovered two of my attendants were high school students. This being a Tuesday night at 3 AM, I asked about school and was told they had classes the next day at 8 O’Clock and would be there. They did this routinely as volunteers, twice a month.
I think this is an overwhelming testament to the American, (Vermont?) teenager of today.. I don’t know how many volunteer rescue services have similar programs, but I certainly appreciate this one.” • Jack in Jericho
Front Porch Forum members marvel at the mysteries of local wildlife and wildflowers:
“Tonight was special when it comes to wildlife. Saw two otters which are always a treat. As it was getting dark and the otters were aware of me and keeping their distance, I saw a large bird take flight from the opposite shore. The light was getting low so all I could see was a very large bird, consistent with a heron in the poor light, cross the pond and then turn up the shore toward us. It flew right past us and cleared the tree line directly across from me at less than 20 yards. Clear as a bell; Bald Eagle. A wonderful evening for me and proof of the wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities here.” • Robert in West Bolton
And this past Spring: “Took a walk tonight, enjoying a respite between spring showers and was enjoying the many woodland areas covered in those tiny blue flowers. Met up with a neighbor who was walking her dog and we both delighted in them but could not identify them. She suggested that I post it to FPF when I came up with it. So here it is:
Siberian Squill (scilla siberica) is the lovely, little blue flower — a deeper blue — with nodding heads, looking down. Their blooming neighbor, another tiny blue flower, but a lighter shade, and with upturned face with a white star in the center is Glory of the Snow (chionodoxa).” • Pat in Burlington
Share your observations of the Vermont beauty around us on FPF.
Front Porch Forum members spend time connecting with their neighbors in person.
“Waiting at the DMV I met Mr Congeniality himself: 4-year old Isaac. He and I quickly struck up a friendly conversation. He was thoughtful and creative and funny. And to be honest, I’ve had a pretty crummy week otherwise, but chatting with that bright-eyed kid was a lovely distraction.” • Morgen in Montpelier
“Let’s start being more real, more in-person. Stop living so much of life in cyberspace. Commit to replacing some screen time with real time. Quality time. Our world will be better as a result of every in-person connection we have.” • John in Barre
“With all the sad news happening around the world, I just feel the strong desire to spread happiness & positivity, and Front Porch Forum seems the perfect place to do it!” • Elaine in Northfield
Feel free to continue spreading happiness on FPF!
“What an amazing community we all live within! Thank you very much to the dozens of people who offered Penguin the hen a home after the fisher cat attack on her coop. She is now happily ensconced in a neighbor’s coop, and I feel very happily ensconced among this amazingly generous and caring community.”
• Zoe in Underhill
FPF’s recent survey shows that 89% of respondents say their neighbors help others. How true!
Traveling soon? Your neighbors on Front Porch Forum just might have some stellar recommendations!
“I reached out on FPF for tips on places to visit and things to do while in Florida. I was looking forward to seeing family but dreading the Florida part of the trip. However, thanks to kind and seasoned travelers on FPF, I got a lot of tips that had me eating in a Greek restaurant in a sponge-diving community, kayaking down the Weeki Wachee River, and swimming with manatees. What a helpful community!” • Carl in East Montpelier
Recent fires, while tragic, also remind us how generous our communities can be helping those in need. FPF members respond:
“The fire at my home took almost everything from me. Despite my losses, I will be able to remember it as one of the most uplifting moments as well due to the outpouring of generosity, kindness, and love from the Montpelier Community. Never have I felt more cared for, or supported.” • Lauren in Montpelier
“Big Thanks to all the folks who worked their frozen fingers to the bone making it possible to save our store, library and community. If you see or know a Fire department Volunteer, please share your gratitude for keeping our town/village intact. This includes our Village and town employees as well. Thanks to all of you who reached out, stepped up, and pitched in; it’s what makes our town resilient and a place we want to live.” • Kim in Johnson
Front Porch Forum members respond to a call for help for a family who’s house was completely destroyed:
“I would like to thank everyone for the tremendous generosity and support. Knowing the love and support the community has shown is greatly helping them through this tragic time. Let us use this as a reminder to always reach out and help our neighbors.”
• Heidi in Monkton
“A Front Porch Forum post (from Kim in Shelburne) warning neighbors about the possible wandering bear yielded almost twenty email responses. Though she was the only one to actually see evidence of the animal, she said people were very interested in her experience.
Early spring flooding and warmer weather can bring the bears out, but colder weather will drive them back to sleep until an extended period of warmth — spring — occurs.
If you see a bear, or signs of a bear, there’s no need to panic or call Fish and Wildlife. Mary (with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department) said, “It’s cool to see them. Be careful that animals don’t get in the way of the bear, and enjoy seeing wildlife.” • As reported in the Shelburne News
Will the recent warmer temps awaken more bears? Keep your neighbors updated on FPF!