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!
FPF members share how employees and volunteers are going the extra step to provide shopping experiences that now take place by phone and online.
“Yesterday I needed a sympathy card to send to a friend whose husband had died over the weekend. A generic sympathy card wouldn’t do. I called the Adamant Coop and explained what I was looking for. The volunteer who answered the phone talked me through a selection (I had a local artist in mind), walking around the store with phone in hand, describing the images. When I asked her to choose for me, she ran her ideas past a staff member, who concurred. The cards went on my account, the bag on the porch, and half an hour later, they were on my desk.
I am so grateful for these acts of kindness — for the time, the careful listening, the enthusiasm. Gesture by gesture, people are softening the rough edges of our fear and our pain.” • Karen in East Montpelier
“I am floored by how many of you took the time to make recommendations to me for a tree removal service. Thanks so much. I very much appreciate it.” • Bob in Barnet
“Front Porch Forum is the place where you can find everything you need and then some. Recent postings and recommendations have lead me to take advantage of our local talent.” • Barbara in Waterbury Center
The days are getting longer, crocuses and bluets are springing up from the ground, and birds are returning to the Northeast from their winter vacations: signs of spring! Neighbors are sharing their observations. Have you seen any signs of spring? These FPF members have:
“I’m so grateful to be a part of this community in this time. Thanks to you all. Also! I really love spring, and I miss the spring arrivals board at Sterling College. So…I have a poster board at the Genny up for us all to document our observations of spring (bring your own pen). I also created a google doc that I think should be accessible to all to add observations.
Let’s not let the craziness of this spring allow us to miss this gorgeous and amazing time of year!” • Hannah in Craftsbury, Vt.
Late-spring snowfall, inspired ways to keep the kids busy, crocuses, and random acts of beauty and neighborly kindness.
Home schooling, long walks.
A creative home desk made from–wait, is that an ironing board?
That’s what Middlesex looks like this spring as we all hunker down to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Check out these creative shots of our community taken by your Middlesex neighbors, at:
Enjoy!” • Susan in Middlesex, Vt.
Share your spring sightings and observations on your Front Porch Forum today!