Children grown, grandchildren too
Too much stuff, so what to do?
I’ll sell the crib, lego and bike,
Then I can buy that dress I like!
You want to share news of a bear,
A barn sale, concert, country fair
Lear how to hunt a good mushroom
Find a painter for your room
You need to get a ride to Lansing
Or new partner for some dancing
You say you need a plumber SOON
Ask “The Forum” and he’s there by noon!
I think you get the picture now
You know the “why”, find out the “how”.
And don’t forget “There’s no free lunch”,
Donate to help the Front Porch bunch!” • Alison in Charlotte, Vt.
With many of us finding more time on our hands, what better opportunity to reflect on ourselves and how we fit into the fabric of our communities? Keep reading to take in a beautiful reflection on the past, giving items a second life, and giving and receiving as part of a close-knit community. We are so grateful to witness these kinds of exchanges on Front Porch Forum!
“I don’t know why it does, since I have known it since moving to Vermont, but I am nevertheless continually surprised by the kindness, thoughtfulness and genuine humanity of our small community of people here. I grew up in South Africa as a privileged white person in the days of the Apartheid regime. But I worked for many years before leaving, as a teacher in the indigenous community that surrounded my home. And from them I learned (amongst other things) how to make something out of very little and always reuse anything that could have another life somehow.
And so, over the years I have developed a passion of my own for finding a use for things that someone else no longer has a use for.
Each time I have posted here, looking for something that might replace going out and buying another new “whatever”, I have received such wonderful responses and I want people to know how heartwarming and reassuring this has been. Particularly now in these times of such uncertainty and personal insecurity.
So thank you to those of you who have been so forthcoming, not just with physical objects, but with ideas, suggestions and perspectives that have all been so helpful. I will probably continue to post here when I think I might need something for our new garden or chicken project.
And of course I am constantly reading the posts of other people’s searches, to see if I could be on the other end, and find a home for something I no longer need.
My wife says that this is a part of me deeply engrained and unlikely to change, something regarding leopards and spots. I think I agree with her.“ • Allen in Ferrisburgh, Vt.
Do you have an observation or reflection to share with your neighbors? Do you have something to give away or that you’re seeking for a project? Post about it on FPF!
The little things count, especially when the going gets tough. Being kind, friendly, or considerate toward our neighbors can make all the difference. Read this excellent metaphor shared by an FPF member about being courteous during difficult times, or when in tight spaces!
“Anyone who has gone through a covered bridge appreciates Covered Bridge Courtesy.
People, who can be total strangers, back up, stop, blink their head lights, wave. Signal, “you first.” Basically, acknowledge each other in that tight space. Then we get on with our lives.
And now, we find ourselves in a tight space again. Big Time.
The quarantines, stay in place orders, the uncertainty, have created a collective anxiety. It does matter how we feel about it. Life, like that bridge, will likely be a tight space for some time.
And guess what – we are waving at each other more. We see it driving around. The finger flick off the wheel, or eye contact, or the double whammy of both at the same time. Whoa – that was good.” • Stuart and Patti in Charlotte, Vt.
Have you seen examples like “covered bridge courtesy” in your neighborhood? Tell your neighbors about it on Front Porch Forum!
When in doubt, ask your neighbors on FPF! You can help strengthen your community by being there for your neighbors with ideas, creativity, and kindness, but also by asking for ideas and suggestions in return. Read below to see how one Jericho neighbor reached out to be a part of a community effort.
“At the beginning of this “stay at home” order, I was very creative, painting and crafting and baking all sorts of things. Since the days, weeks and months have passed, I’ve found it very difficult to maintain this.. I thought if I reached out to the community for ideas, maybe we could all collaborate on a community project to encourage each other and lift spirits. I’ve only gotten as far as “Painting rocks” to leave where they might be found, but if anyone has a more expansive idea, feel free to share. Perhaps we can pool our ideas and talents and create something inspiring and beautiful together.” • Sarah in Jericho, Vt.
Looking for some input on your next project? Post your idea on Front Porch Forum!
Are you looking for scrap wood for a backyard project, a treadmill, or a kitchen appliance? Posting in the “Seeking Items” category on Front Porch Forum can often have multiple positive outcomes, beyond just getting the item or information you need!
“Hello; Looking for 1/2″ or 3/8” red and/or blue PEX tubing lying around from a finished project? Fittings? If so, what style fittings? Will happily borrow the connector tool too. Thinking I need 70′ of each or so.
Yup, looking for bits and pieces for renovation to:
A) Save $$$
B) help people get stuff out of their garages and basements and put to good use
C) Make more community connections” • Wayne in Hinesburg, Vt.
If you’re looking for an item, try asking your neighbors first on FPF! It may just turn out that everyone wins!
Front Porch Forum has been full of postings expressing creative ideas for projects and social connection that can be done from home. For example, VPR’s virtual poetry reading in honor of Poetry Month! Register to participate in this fun community event, details below!
“How about a little joy? Hope you’ll join us this Friday evening at 6 for a virtual poetry reading featuring Vermont poets. In honor of National Poetry Month, Morning Edition’s Mitch Wertlieb will be joined by Didi Jackson, Major Jackson, Kerrin McCadden and Elizabeth Powell to read their work and discuss what inspires them. You can watch this event in an online stream wherever you’re sheltering in. Learn more and RSVP here.” • Vermont Public Radio
Share your virtual events or learn about other events in the area on your neighborhood FPF.
As the world adjusts and adapts to social distancing and self isolation, communities in Vermont are looking to connect with and help their neighbors safely. They’re doing so on FPF.
Listen to Front Porch Forum’s co-founder, Michael Wood-Lewis, share how the service is being used across the state (and in parts of Upstate NY) during the COVID-19 crisis. He joins Fran Stoddard for an interview, below, on Across the Fence, the country’s longest-running locally produced program.
Learn more about how Front Porch Forum is being used during this time here.