this week at the FPL


The neighborhood gave the Front Porch Library an opening boost with an injured raccoon holed up two doors down and every concerned kid gathered to discuss the issue. Meanwhile, the adults had the rescue folks from St. Francis on the way. Library alternated with walks back to check on the raccoon, then watch the netting and removal of the animal.

My program for today featured skulls from lots of local animals–including a raccoon, so we were right on topic–or right on topic kid by kid. It was our first day of warm dry weather in a long time and the kids were shooting hoops and biking up and down the street at full speed. I did the program on the fly, snagging individual kids. “Why do you think this animal has its eyes on the side instead of in the front like we do?

We had a new volunteer named Hope who spent the whole two hours keeping up with four-year-old Chloe. That meant chasing her bike down the street to keep her safe from cars, letting Chloe ride piggyback and playing with plastic food in the living room where every other course was an ice cream cone.

Joe and Makaila worked in the kitchen on a Black History Month project. Mr. John was incredibly helpful naming musicians to add to Louis Armstrong, the sole musician on the poster when they arrived.

Miss Heather was the hub of a mad cataloging effort. We had lots of kids today and lots of volunteers. I know because of the number plates I washed–and the fact the cake had to be cut really thin in order to go around–and most of the volunteers abstained.

this week at the FPL



The weekly gathering at The Front Porch Library started quietly enough, just Zion and the twins on the kid side of the equation, Mr. John, Michael and Miss Adrian
on the adult side (with the twins in the mix we were a little light on the supervisory side) but we got homemade banana bread in the oven–we could soon smell it all the way out in the driveway.

We then began sewing and taping and generally constructing fairly scary ninja masks–there is no way to explain the directions we go off in on a Sunday–it just happens. The stretchy loops for making pot holders proved to be perfect for binding all the fabric together at the neck. Eye holes were cut with our only decent pair of scissors (the others only look like scissors).

Joe and Kyle came. Joe needed a pad of drawing paper. Then Austin and Jackie. It was a girl-free day at the library. Hoops were shot, the bread came out of the oven. We ate it hot, with butter. Someone asked, where’s the cake? We’re going for variety, I said.

After we closed I saw the twins running down the street, barefoot. Harper was also bare-chested, wearing the cape we’d torn out of an old sheet. When I asked him where his shirt was he said, “Real men don’t wear shirts!”

this week at the FPL


I love the Front Porch Library. It is part plan, part spontaneous explosion. We began in an orderly fashion, assembling an anatomically correct model of the human skeleton–but perhaps we did it anatomically incorrectly. Could the scapula bones be upside-down? No one holds a shrug for that long.

Zion and Zachary found a good use for the two giant balls most folks would use for some crazy form of exercise. Holding them in their arms they ran into each other and bounced off (think male kangaroos chest-bumping). There were also some relay races started by Zion. Most of us were out when he informed us that the race began, “First, jump over this chair.”

DSC04496Corrin did some fast sewing–speed seemed important to her.. “Am I doing a good job of going fast?” We got a new book about feather identification–we identified at the beginning of library. By the time Corrin was sewing, the feathers were up for grabs. She sewed one (quickly) into her project.

After races in the street, shooting hoops, eating cake, checking out books, sampling the bread I’d just made and packing take-home cake and popcorn the library kids meandered down the street. The volunteers, students from Leon High School–the best bunch of FPL helpers ever–drove home. Corrin, who lives next door to the library, was driven to her door by Nick.



this week at the FPL

DSC04442DSC04439 Rube Goldberg would have been proud of us today. We built an amazing project in the living room that used a lot of tape, blocks, tracks, cardboard tubes, plastic soldiers, and a golf ball. The twins made signs that leaned up against the contraption that said things like: The Total Awesomeness Ride.

Zion was the engine behind the enterprise–which meant that he launched the ball and made most of the adjustments to the stacks of blocks and the obstacles and inclined planes the ball had to traverse.

The word “momentum” was bandied about–with occasional questions like, “So, what is momentum anyway?”

DSC04509 DSC04508 DSC04507We made corn bread–it was a flop. No one wanted corn bread. I keep hoping to branch out from cake. Corn bread is not the answer.

Dee Dee came over with a pair of walkie-talkies, but he needed a guy with a screwdriver to help him install the batteries. I walked him across the street to my husband, Ray (the guy with a screw driver). I loved walking back across the street with Dee Dee. Spoken into one of the walkie-talkies: “Do you hear me?” Spoken into the other walkie-talkie: “Yes, I hear you.”

Library began with the police intervening in a domestic argument in one of our families, and the kids leaving the library quite suddenly with their mother, so it was not all rosy, but we provided a little diversion during the confrontation, and we’ll be here when the dust settles. That is one of the strengths of the library. We’re always here. Reliable.

Another mostly-good day at the library.


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