Yay for another library!

Little Library on a wooden post in Bay City, Michigan

I first saw a Little Free Library downstate when I was taking my dog for eye specialist appointments. Bay City, Michigan, where I live isn’t small by some standards at just short of 35,000 residents, but it’s safe to say that most trends show up downstate first and then trickle upward.

I LOVED this idea, so much so that on one of my last trips to the area, I made certain to contribute some books. I also wanted to host a library, but not all my home’s residents were keen on inviting traffic to the yard.

Bummer, I thought. Bay City could use this.

Needless to say I was quite excited to spot one the other day as I was driving down Center Avenue. I knew immediately what it was:

Little Library on a wooden post in Bay City, Michigan

It’s at 2600 Center Avenue, just two houses off the rail-trail, so an excellent location. But its contents seemed a little sparse:

Closeup of contents of Bay City Little Free Library

Easy to solve. I gathered five contributions without even dipping into storage:

Covers of five books

The storage and gardening books I got from a friend who was cleaning out a parent’s house; the first I won’t use after all and the second covers information I have in other books. The “last suppers” was interesting but I won’t reread it. The Barnes & Noble edition of Frida Kahlo I also am done with, but I’m hanging on to the Dali book.

I’m most thrilled to get my talented friend Karen Totten’s work into someone else’s hands. I wanted to give some poetry away and wasn’t sure what I could part with, then found I somehow had two copies of this chapbook.

My husband had seen me leaving with books, so when I returned he was surprised to see one in my hand – Marie Kondo’s tidying cult manual. “It’s a library,” I reminded him. “I’ll read it and return it.”

I’ll probably send it back with some paper friends.

UPDATE, April 10: We get one in our neighborhood! I contacted the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, which tends Discovery Preserve a few blocks from my house, to see if they would want to host a library. Turns out they’re installing one on Earth Day that was donated by the Bay County Library System and Bay City Noon Rotary Club, and plan to stock it initially with field guides and nature-oriented books for people of all ages. So now I can adopt that one.

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Feed your head

My list of books to acquire from the local library is up to three index cards now. Yes, front and back.
My list of books to acquire from the local library is up to three index cards now. Yes, front and back.
My list of books to acquire from the local library is up to three index cards now. Yes, front and back.

An idle thought on New Year’s Eve turned into a model I actually can follow.

I had called to find out what hours Old Town Gym would be open on New Year’s Day, as management prides themselves on being open every single day, even if like on Thanksgiving, it’s just two hours. For New Year’s, there was a four-hour window, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

That’s when I thought, hey, I could go 365 days a year.

By mid-morning I already was questioning that plan, but I dragged myself over there long enough to do machine work. Then I started pondering what I really hoped to gain from the 365 notion.

As I told my son, the plan sounded great for alternate days – machine days. He understood. Like me, he hates cardio. I knew I would be unlikely to go over just for cardio.

But the germ of the idea remained. Maybe I could do SOMETHING every day. A little digging produced a home Pilates workout (although exercise #5 will be beyond me for a while) and a 30-day plank challenge. At some point I might add stretches, but this is enough for now.

That led to not a resolution, but a life shift I could truly embrace: exercising my mind and body every day.

The mind part is easy, because I have reading and learning to do on the way to writing a dystopian novel one day. Right now I’m going through material related to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the first required reading in a no longer available Canvas Network course on surviving a zombie apocalypse, brought to my attention by the nice folks who promote The Walking Dead. I was too focused on other things to participate while the class discussions were going on, but I snagged all the reading before the course disappeared from the network.

I also have an ever-growing reading list, to which I’m sure to add more from Dystopia.com’s book list. Finally, I signed up for another Canvas course, this one on sustainability, and I plan to participate weekly this time.

Body and mind. So simple, so vital.