It was code day at the Front Porch Library–and boy was it fun. We had keys for three different codes. One was the obvious, run the alphabet backwards under one that runs A to Z and replace the letters in what you are writing with the ones from the reverse alphabet.
The second one involved a grid and letters were translated to a binary from the horizontal and vertical axes, for example, A2 would be the letter B.
The third was my favorite–take a look above. The parts of the grid that surround each letter create angular shapes (the second letter in the grid enclosure is expressed by the shape and a dot). Make sense? Sure, you’re smart.
It was just me, Mr. John, Brianna, Olivia, and Klark, but we were enough. We sat around the old folding table and wrote our names in the three codes. Then we took a puzzle and hid the pieces, writing a clue in code for each of the hidden pieces–there was a lot of “Close your eyes!” involved.
Pieces were in places like behind a pillow behind Mr. John, in the turtle shell, behind a drawing made by a library kid who has since grown up.
As we coded, the scheduled storm moved in, soaked Olivia’s bike and Briana’s scooter and knocked the Front Porch Library sign flat on it’s back.
As they left with their mom, I heard Klark say Library was really cool today. And it was!
Today was the library’s 9th birthday party, and the rain came in in waves much of the day, and we tracked in more dead leaves than we could vacuum up. Miss Jennifer and I hustled around, hoping we could do all the fancy table things Miss J. is so good at. We set the tables up on the lawn and in the driveway. We knocked them down again.
Kelby came over to help a couple of hours early. He gave the sky a good talking too. Then it rained again. We downsized our plans and set things up inside.
Mr. John and Miss Vicky took over the kitchen, the noodle cooking, the garlic bread making.
The twins arrived and followed by Olivia and Klark. They worked on a quick blitz finish of the second alphabet accordion. We were a few letters short, but boy was our first one gorgeous!
Briana pedaled up. Violet, Jasper and Fox finally returned (yeah!). We started serving dinner. Klark and Harper and Danny began with plates filled with garlic bread. An unwise move considering how much other great food we had.
Andrew and Heather walked over, Barbara, Penny, Jen and Tracy, Alex….heck, I forget. The rain stopped and we moved the folding chairs back out, the tables back out…no fancy centerpieces and quite a few mosquitoes, but the sauces were excellent, the pasta hot. The birthday cake had a hard time getting out of the pan (parts of it hung on) but we reglued everything with icing. That is kind of typical….
We finished (except for the cleanup) with the watermelon seed spitting contest in the road. It is getting darned hard to find a melon with seeds, but Ray picked one up at the flea market.
All the kids lined up at the chalk line for the big spit. Violet won with a spit of 17’4″. Go Violet!
Olivia still holds the kid record at 18′ 9.5.”
There was a festival of cleaning-up afterwards. Miss Jennifer said that she’d come back to vacuum up those leaves in the morning. I said…okay. At least I paused before I said it.
Onward to our double-digit birthday!