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Category Archives: Stories

Grab Your Toboggan

Our January Posting Flurry contest resulted in this wonderful story posted on FPF about community and helping our neighbors, with all the “feels”!

“Dan asked his teenage son and daughter if they would give him a hand. “Grab your toboggan, we’ll throw it in the truck”!

On his way to and from work, he had noticed that Mrs. Friendly’s woodpile had toppled over. She is 87, living alone and cooking and heating with wood. She says she always has, and she always will! She was a mentor to both of his children and they love her. She read to them at school.

The woodpile was too far from her house anyways and a snowstorm was about to hit the area. “Looking for a foot” she said when he called her.

Dan sat in his truck for an extra 5 minutes after talking to Mrs. Friendly and posted a request on Front Porch Forum for other helpers in the area, to help move and restack her wood. That evening when Dan and his teenagers arrived, eight other community members including three more teens, dressed in snow pants and boots, sneakers and some without gloves, pulling sleds of all kinds joined together in moving a cord of firewood. They stacked it on her porch and filled her many wood boxes inside. Dan said she begged us all to return for blueberry pie that next weekend. She said she had something to look forward to now, all toasty and warm and not worrying so much. “You better show up an eat my pies so the chickens don’t have to” she laughed.

It has now become a tradition for this same group to help her stack her winters wood. They check in on her, stop and visit, pick up groceries and her meds. She says she’s kinda glad her woodpile fell over, but mostly happy that Dan noticed and posted it “on that fancy phone of his”. Even when the kids come home from college they visit her. They bring “store bought pie” she complains.

Thank you FPF for making these kinds of things happen!!!”   • Suzan in Marshfield


Heartfelt gratitude for our fire fighters

It’s witnessing these acts of neighborliness that has such an impact on FPF members.

“On a slushy, awful night, there was a grease fire in an apartment above Delish and The Quirky Pet. I got the call and rushed downtown to find our fire department walking through my wet shop as well as Delish where the water was literally crawling down the walls. This might sound trivial, but the concern they showed for the health and well being of my eleven parakeets in the aviary was extraordinary. All are healthy and present for because our fire department made sure my shop was powered up to remain warm and was smoke free before they left for the night. The same concern was shown for the well being of the dogs and cat in the apartments upstairs. Our fire fighters alongside my husband and me carried load after load of candy into my pet shop saving Delish’s livelihood. They didn’t have to join in on that.

It is really unfortunate that most of us don’t really notice the fire department until they are involved in a fire call. Montpelier’s fire department is a tightly run shop of really caring people who are very good at what they do. You don’t normally see them get mentioned in Front Porch Forum.

As a Montpelier business owner… and a resident of Montpelier as well, they have my heartfelt gratitude not only for what they did for Delish and my shop but for our upstairs residential neighbors as well on a very messy night weather-wise.”   • Richard in Montpelier


America is suffering an epidemic of loneliness

A recent opinion piece in the New York Times had us reflecting on how Front Porch Forum works to bridge loneliness.

Photo credit: John Taggart for The New York Times

“Each of us can be happier, and America will start to heal when we become the kind neighbors and generous friends we wish we had.”  • Arthur C. Brooks for the New York Times

FPF‘s community-centric framework has created a powerful norm of neighborliness that builds enduring social ties.


Return of the Battalion Stallion

Front Porch Forum members can be very creative with their postings!  Witness this humorous exchange:

“What a disgrace. I’ve never in my three years of living here been more disgusted with the State of Things. No more Battalion Stallion on the Country Store menu? Was there even a vote? Together we can right this wrong. Join me and the growing ranks of outraged citizens and help restore this town treasure to the once-great menu.”  • Ben in Jericho

“As both creator and destroyer of the Battalion Stallion panini, I offer my deepest, most profound sympathy for the loss of your beloved sandwich. It indeed was a stalwart of our menu for many years here. It filled up many a weary traveler on his or her way to gastric heaven. Alas, along came newer sandwiches and the Stallion became a lost pony. But only the forgotten are truly lost, as they say. This is ‘Merica, and despite our differences we can find common ground. All it takes is a good conversation and a hilarious FPF post. So, although we won’t put it back on the menu, you can stop by or call and order it. We’ll make it for you! Long live the Stallion! Hooah.”  • Jon at the Jericho Center Country Store

 


There goes the neighborhood

Front Porch Forum co-founder, Michael Wood-Lewis, was recently interviewed on the Team Human podcast for a segment on “people trying to effect real cultural change in very different ways.”

Team Human is a podcast striving to amplify human connection. Each week they engage in real-time, no-holds-barred discussions with people who are hacking the machine to make it more compatible with human life, and helping redefine what it means to stay human in a digital age.  

Take a listen and see how Michael “shows us how the net can be used to turn residents back into neighbors. It’s a story about the transformative power of witnessing everyday acts of neighborliness.”

 


A musical bond is formed on FPF

Here’s a special story of how FPF helped musicians form a neighborhood connection that still endures:

“Brit, whose family had recently moved from out west, used Front Porch Forum to see if anyone would be interested in getting together occasionally to play guitar and make music.  a few of us took her up on her offer, and we hit it off.  Almost 6 years – and many farmer’s markets & events – later, our meetings have become something very special to each of us.  We named ourselves the “Front Porch Foursome”, in honor of our origin.  We all still have our day jobs, but cherish the adventure this has taken us on.  Aside from our good fortune, we appreciate the forum that you have provided for our community, and for all of Vermont.”  • Brit, Nancy, Kathy & Char – the Front Porch Foursome

How will you use FPF to form friendships?


The next best thing to sitting around a pot-belly stove….

Times may change, but Front Porch Forum is happy to provide a gathering place for neighbors across the state.

“Front Porch Forum is the next best thing to sitting around a pot-belly stove in the town general store. Neighbors meet neighbors, exchange ideas, ask and make recommendations, sell and buy useful items, publicize local events, find missing pets, and much, much more. We’re here for one another in the old-fashioned way. Let’s keep this Forum flourishing with a critical donation, no matter how large or small.” – Gretchen B. in Morrisville

If you value the free service that Front Porch Forum provides to your community, consider making a supporting member contribution today: https://frontporchforum.com/supporting-members.


The Great Monday Night Dog Chase

It’s not uncommon to hear wild tales of animal chases and gracious shout outs on Front Porch Forum, but it never gets old!

“Thank you to everyone who helped, offered to assist, pointed us in the right direction, or simply wished us luck as we chased the very fast and wily “Rolo the dog” all over our fair city after he escaped while we were dog-sitting. His jaunt included most of North Street (twice), Spring Street, all of Weaver Street, the Winooski Circle, the Casavant trail, and ended on Platt Street.

A special thanks to Ben for assisting with our pursuit on his moped; to all of the folks who donned headlamps and searched on foot; to the kind couple on Platt Street who found one very exhausted pup in their driveway and called the Winooski PD; and to the Winooski Police Department for their kindness and prompt attention. And lastly, our sincere apologies to anyone who was offended by a silver Subaru that was driving in a less-than-courteous manner as we tried to keep Rolo the Escapee in our sights.

Rolo is home safe and sound, and we are grateful for such a caring community! ” – Charlotte A. & Chris in Winooski


Appreciation for the splendor around us

A neighbor shares his love of a local trail on Front Porch Forum.

“I took my first ride under forest canopy, between wildflower meadows in full bloom with our native species, flushed out flocks of Goldfinch, travelled past pond and wildlife on paths in excellent condition. See vineyard and mountain peaks colored by the sunset and get away from it all right here!” • Larry in Charlotte

Thanks for the reminder to get out and explore where we live!