Saving an old bird's sanity
By - d3333p7
My city has birdhouse size book shares. It's basically tiny houses to hold books. People place books there and take one to read... just kinda on your honor type thing..
But these really shot up throughout COVID. Some I noticed were becoming specific genres of anime, sci-fi, non-fiction, etc.
This reminds me a lot of that.
Same. Mini free libraries. You can set one up yourself if you want — a little weatherproof box of books on the curb in front of your house, or you can get the city to sponsor you aka provide the little library box. There’s also a non-profit that you can contact if you want to get one going. LittleFreeLibrary.org.
We have food ones too (non perishables). Often the boxes are side by side.
I love that idea but to be honest people where I live take everything. Offer berries and they will take your bushes ( not kidding ). The Salvation Army put out those plastic pallets of bread loaves and someone tried to tie them all to their car and just ended up wasting bread and causing a car accident when the pallets fell off.
ETA: This was 8+ pallets of 30/40 loaves a pallet. It was also day old bread. There was no resale value to this. Farmers though, would love free feed and also drunk assholes like to taunt the homeless here.
How frustrating! It’s like anything though, you hope for a net positive. You wouldn’t want to punish people who really need it because there are a few bad actors out there. The whole system is pretty amazing. The boxes are made by woodshop class students as senior projects or I’ve also seen them done by Boy Scouts too.
Early covid days, I was standing in a long line waiting to enter the pharmacy. They could only allow a few people at a time and people were making sure necessary prescriptions were filled. The owner came out with a bag of some individually wrapped candies in a bag. He said to take one and pass it on. So most people took one or just passed it along. I watched this lady because I knew what was coming. The bag reached her and she promptly stuffed it into her purse. Class act, lol.
Pre Covid I would do stuff like this at random, like one time I bought 2 dozen doughnuts and walked into a bank and told security “take a few” before moving onto my next stop on the way home
When flu season was around I kep a bag of hall coygh drops in my pocket, someone starts coughing out comes the bag
And in the last month when things started opening up on my way to the train depot I stopped into every open shop and offered some free cinimkn toast
You’ve inspired me to be a better person tomorrow. Thanks :)
You welcome, even the little things can make a person day
An easy solution is to put a webcam (working or broken, won't matter) on the box and tell people that they are being filmed. It's amazing how much nicer people can get when they believe they're being filmed. Won't work on everyone, but it doesn't have to.
And now we lost a webcam.
That's why you put a dummy broken one up.
Have they tried not being homeless? That usually solves the problem. That or ask your dad for a small loan of 5 million dollars to get you back on your feet.
Its also 2 days worth of free hog food.
I know. It's a rural area but that pisses me off. It's not like they are donating the meat when it's dead.
I've volunteered at a lot of places and I am always shocked how greedy well-off people are. Guess that's how they got well-off but no souls...
Oh I agree...I can just see some of the guys around here jumping at that.
Gotcha, and I can see it too!!
I mean... if they need it though? Tying pallets to cars is a dumb move but I feel like if stuff is getting taken that's a really good sign that there is a need.
Not all the time. Some people see free things and think “imma gonna sell that free stuff and make myself some money!”
People who are doing ok tend not to want to spend the rest of the day trying to sell off a pallet of bread.
Bread is bread. Money can be anything, even bread.
Very good point. Everyone uses the mentality to “take a little, leave some”, but if I put out bins of bread and someone went to that much effort to steal them I’d just put more out later.
Now if it kept happening, or turned out to be someone doing it maliciously I’d have to change my method of good will.
It's about not being self centered and selfish.
Most people see 30 loaves of bread and think "I'll take 1 and it will also help 29 others".
I don't care how desperate you are, abusing this sort of offering is low.
It was like 30 or more loaves a pallet and there were 8+ pallets. This was day old bread and we were trying to help people, may people, not an asshole farmer who saw free feed.
I set up a table outside my house with a bunch of free stuff on it. Pots n pans, glassware, kids toys, we were spring cleaning. First person to stop put everything on the ground and took the table. WTF. 🤦♂️
That’s ridiculous but also a little hilarious.
People sometimes leave canned goods in the little libraries around my neighborhood, which is pretty cool. But there was a can of Vienna sausages in one for well over a year. It might still be there, I just haven’t checked since like January.
Vienna waits for you.
My dad used to buy Vienna sausages for camping and backpacking. They really suck!
On the Texas Gulf Coast, the first thing to go is the cans of Vienna sausage. It's like a tradition at this point. Last time we were under a hurricane watch (last July with Hanna) I mostly bought other canned or dry foods that could be eaten cold. But I did get a van of you-know-what. You know, for old times' sake.
Edit: a *can*, not a van. I'm not that crazy about it.
We have plant propagation ones too!
Same. My neighborhood has the Little Free Pantry by the free library box. Every thing is just donations from the neighbors. Pretty cool. Someone usually posts daily on out FB page of what the contents are to be restocked.
I put a ton of my college text books in there I'm hopes someone may find helpful vs getting dusty at my house.
We have movie ones too. Painted Blockbuster blue.
We also have ones with Jigsaw puzzles that popped up during much of last year. Mini puzzle lending libraries helped a lot of us get through this together (but alone)!
One ones in my neighborhood look like miniature dollhouse versions of the house they are in front of, it's pretty cool
Thank you for the link, we only have one in my city and it's at the other end from me. I've got piles of books and have been wanting to start another for a while!!
my dad set up about 5 around town 2 years ago! the one near our house is the only one constantly full lol
If you register w/littlefreelibrary.org they'll put you on their website map, which is handy (although not perfectly functional). There's dozens in my city. Some specialize in one type of book, usually children's.
It's pretty cool to see the registration number on the LFLs in my neighborhood. (I think you may get a # plate too.)
We have these where I live and people have filled them with only shades of grey lol
I keep meaning to throw some sci-fi series starters in mine! I'm gonna go do that
We’ve got one. They become largely self-sustaining as more people both take books and bring books to share. I do notice that one neighbor comes with a bag and takes a lot of the good books quite frequently. I feel a little annoyed about that, but it’s an exercise in letting go and realizing I can’t control everything.
A side benefit of having one of these “little free libraries” Is that I look in there myself and sometimes pick up an interesting read!
Man, that whole realizing I can't control stuff like that changed my whole world. Took so many years.
So true. In reality, none of us can control what another single human being on this planet is going to feel, think, say or do. We can only control how we choose to react to those things.
Our neighbor has one, I should put some good books in there sometime!
You should! It feels really good to drop off a good book that you want to share, even if you never know who winds up reading it.
Are they only for little kids, do you know? I’d like to put something like Dune in there lol
Oh no, they're for everyone! Almost all the books are full fledged novels in the ones in my neighborhood. Dune would be great.
I got my copy of Dune from one such stand somewhere. And I’ve offloaded a lot of books I know I won’t read again to pay it forward.
Not Dune though, that’s a keeper.
I use them all the time, one that I go to has children’s books on the bottom and the top three shelves are adult books.
Depends on location! My kids school has one that is mostly kids books (obviously) but there's a house a few blocks away that tends to have romance novels and sci-fi lol
I love my library! I go out every couple of weeks and swap things around to keep it fresh.
I looove free libraries. My town has one, and the apartment building I live in, has a makeshift one in our laundry room. There's a big ol shelving unit, and people put cookbooks, magazines, dvds, kids books, adult fiction and non-fiction. Someone even donated an old North East Map Atlas- which was soo cool because you dont get to see huge books of maps anymore.
Yeah the little library program was huge when the real library shut down… basically turned into people huddling around them and trading at parks and stuff
> It's basically tiny houses to hold books. People place books there and take one to read... just kinda on your honor type thing..
That sounds nice, doubt it will work in my country though, people will just take them all to resell it later
I'm in the US....
I thought the same thing, but TBH... people have surprised me here.
I’ve seen them all over the US, I’m pretty sure there’s a program that sets them up all over the country
I’m on the East Coast of US and they’re all over my area. It’s neighbors that actually build them and people take and put in new ones. We had a few, but there literally all over. No one messes with them and they are always stocked it’s so nice.
This guy made a video where he sold water next to a hiking trail using the honor system and not one water went unaccounted for. It made me happy that sometimes people are decent. Hopefully they didn't litter the bottles on the trail
Same!! I live in a city with ~200,000 people and the one by my apartment was amazing. It was also awesome because i was downsizing at the time and I got to leave books I would’ve donated and see which ones were being read!
I'm in the process of buying my first home, installing one of these is high on my to-do list once everything is settled.
I built a free library on a tree stump in front of the house and it’s taken on a life of it’s own…. Great way to build a sense of community in a time when people can’t socialize
We call them tiny libraries here in Washington State. They're all over the place. I saw one that was decorated like a TARDIS the other day!
This sounds like a lovely idea. In the UK, we have done a similar thing in rural villages with the old Red public telephone kiosks that used to be everywhere. They're mostly all obsolete now of course, though they've been put to other uses including defibrillator stations and free lending libraries :)
Same in my city, I had one not far from my place that I went to often to exchange books at.
I love seeing these because they're like a glimpse into a neighborhood's mind almost. Like a lil microcosm of the community's interests almost
Local church has one, but its for food, a elementary school has a mini library. Ive been seeing them pop up more.
Yeah! We have some of those, people put them up at the edges of their yards. It’s such a great idea
This is also a lesson in asking. Most of the time when we want or need something, we can just ask. It's the getting over ourselves to ask that's the issue. People may say no....and we aren't any worse off than we were before. Though you'll find that people like to say yes to reasonable requests.
My favourite part is that she didn't ~~say please or~~ even really phrase it as much of a question. She was polite and respectful, but pretty clear that she had both need and expectation of her neighbours. That old lady energy is extremely my shit.
I also like she wasn't critical of the donations. She may not like all of what she was given but she recognized the generosity and was appreciative. Classy lady!
I imagine she's even the type to try some of those things that she might not normally be into, since they were donated and all.
I dunno how you can look at a plaintive request for help and takeaway some sort of forceful 'old lady energy'. She just asked those around her for a favor in a fairly passive manner. 'If you can, please' basically sums it up. I somewhat doubt she would have had as good of a response if she had commanded her neighbors to give her books and dvds with the sort of 'old lady energy' you're describing.
I'm mainly drawing it from the all-caps "HELP"
She *did* say please (albeit a tiny bit misspelled), and she gave a preemptive "thank you" to boot. Her grammar may not be the best, nor her punctuation (first sentence is clearly a question despite missing the ? mark) but the request was very polite.
My point is that it wasn't really a question in the vein of "can anyone help?" but instead a series of statements that politely conveyed what I interpret as her certainty that her neighbours have the means to help her out, therefore compelling them. Only slightly, and maybe not consciously at all, but I am always interested in how phrasing affects meaning.
had a business school professor who loved when ppl engaged in class, even with wrong answers or “stupid” questions. he thought it was indicative of clear and effective communicators, the type who can be assertive about their needs and expectations. he said “there’s no stupid questions except for the ones that have already been answered or are easy to google” and that “the worse someone can say is no.”
[The Art of Asking](https://youtu.be/xMj_P_6H69g)
The book is excellent too!
closed mouths don't get fed
We have a similar saying in the north east of England: “Shy bairns get nowt”.
ahh you speak Ukrainian too? :p
Never heard that, it's good
from my Ukrainian grandparents (:
Feed me all the lazy cabbage rolls and perogies, please!
oh man, holidays with my grandma's cooking are the bestttttt. And since my grandma is Ukrainian catholic and my grandpa Ukra jew, we get double the holidays and two different styles of ukra food!!
What foods do they generally make? Thanks! :)
Somewhat related, some guy I thought I was good friends with stole $20 from me a few years ago, throwing out our friendship in the process. He basically asked me to e transfer him some cash and he'd give me edibles, which he didn't do and kept the money and ghosted me. The saddest part? I really liked the guy. If he needed money he could've asked. I could've given him $100 if he needed it. Still makes me sad to this day haha
Some people will still be assholes to you about it. I've seen completely normal and polite requests get posted to /r/Choosingbeggars, which then got decently upvoted because OP set the narrative and context.
Closed mouths don’t get fed. Sometimes you need to speak up.
Adding "Going round the twist" to my vocabulary.
What does that mean?
It's an old-fashioned British-ism for "I'm going crazy."
Huh, you learn something new everyday i guess
It’s also an incredibly disturbing and good children’s 90s tv programme from Australia. Find it on the tube and watch it to see what I mean
With the most ear-worm worthy theme tune ever!
Have you ever…
Ever felt like this...
How strange things happen...
Are you going round the twist...
Amazing show... without my pants.
The origin of the phrase is interesting. In Victorian England asylums had a curve in the driveway in order to hide the house and it's residents from the outside world.
I read it as a euphemism for death. This makes more sense, and maybe isn't quite so dark.
I read both, though not assuming intent of the morbid version. Still, "mortal coil" is bone-deep as far as verbal symbolism goes.
Losing your marbles. Slipping your trolley. Popping one’s lid.
I like slipping your trolley. Hadn't heard that one. Am in U.S. There is also losing your marbles.
Similar to going "a bit loopy".
It's a little like going stir-crazy. Bored and nearly going out of your mind.
Makes sense! Thank you!
You’re welcome. : )
I imagine it’s similar to “driving me ‘round the bend” which was said a lot by my family. Just to go crazy or become really frustrated
I thought it meant "turning 80," since she said she's 79 and there's a twist in the 8. Based on the comments I guess not though!
Have you ever, ever felt like this?
Have strange things happened,
Are you going round the twist?
That fucking show, man.... **absolutely batshit INSANE.**
There was an episode about scarecrows hiding under the bed that fucked me up. Had to leap when getting in bed just in case there was one hiding under mine!
Do you not remember the urinal episode with the water nymph that helps a young boy piss real hard?
Yes! That's the only one I remember, goes so hard it goes over the urinal wall and onto the path outside
I'd say, rain rain go away come again another day.
For years I had convinced myself that this show was just a fever dream. None of my friends/other people my age had any clue what I was talking about. (I'm from a non-English speaking country). I can't remember anything about the show except it being _fucking weird_. And a guy that grew nails all over his fingers??? Nightmare fuel.
Was about to comment the exact thing. I can hear it clearly in my head
This is the comment I came here for.
I feel like this is more of a British saying, no? I’ve never heard it said here in the US although maybe it’s just an age cohort thing
I think over here it's usually said as going around, or being driven around, the bend.
I'd hang out with this old bird and read with her to keep her company, sounds like a time!
I'd also think she'd enjoy phone calls if she needs to completely isolate due to health. Not to mention notes & cards.
your pfp omg 😭😭 i need a cowboy bebop rewatch now it’s been a very long time
Lol, I wonder what she would think of *Cowboy Bebop?* I think my dad would've liked it. He was old to be a dad, but he liked *Firefly,* and he usually got into whatever anime or cartoon I was watching, despite being confused by it at first. He really liked *Kino's Journey*.
It's some kind of.... data dog
This is what I thought! I'd just go round for tea every day and maybe we could watch a film together. If much rather that than just giving her a load of media (such is still super kind)
That's how she gets all the young men, the cheeky old bird
Would be cool if you got to know her and spent some time with her if you have any free time. She seems very lonely and it would do her mental health the world of good to actually talk to another human being (I know COVID is an issue at the moment) sorry I sound like I’m being a negative nelly, well done for doing an awesome thing!
I agree wholeheartedly. I'd love to just go hang with her. I understand her loneliness!
The distinction between her shaking handwriting to smoother and bold handwriting is telling.
Noticed that too, bless her!
I hope when I’m old people will still be this kind 🌈
I hope that the robots will be gentle.
I thought so too at first! But maybe she had a smoother surface to write.
Or a better pen
That’s a really interesting observation!
Yes! I bet she had some anxiety and nervousness that attributed to the shaking hands.
For me, when my anxiety gets bad, shaky hands are one of the signs that my anxiety is kicking up.
Also, I'm doing group therapy and there are a few older folks (70+) that have talked about how lonely they get but they refuse to seek out any friendships because they feel like a burden or don't want to disrupt other people's lives.
So seeing the shaky handwriting leads me to believe that it took a lot of mental effort (possibly physical too) for her to even write the note asking for help from strangers.
Nobody likes asking for help, was probably an uncomfortable experience writing that first note.
>... How lonely they get but they refuse to seek out any friendships because they feel like a burden or don't want to disrupt other people's lives.
This honestly breaks my heart :(
Well that warned my heart.
I need to get back into charity work. I'm missing something inside. I have big time social anxiety and it makes it rough. But I love helping people in need.
"Heart, be careful little buddyl"
Nice now go ask if she needs any help shopping etc 👍
This was actually in my building in my old apartment during the first lockdown in the UK last year. Lovely old woman. Ended up having little notes everywhere in the building of people talking to each other, setting up a group chat and so on.
There’s an older lady in my building who speaks only a little English. Every time I see her we have broken Spanish(me) broken English (her) chats. I started going to the bank and getting her rolls of quarters for the laundry machines in the basement because our local walking distance bank no longer has tellers aka no longer can get coins. It pays to be kind. It pays in ways we’ll never realize.
Good for her for asking for help! And, of course, good on you for helping. Maybe you can ask her what she likes and you can borrow them from the library?
The local library might even have a program for people that are stuck at home. Mine will mail you materials weekly if you're not able to come in person.
Sweet little bird.
I'm impressed she can operate a DVD player, I cant get my mom to understand how to switch input sources
That’s when you put a piece of tape on the remote that says “watch DVD” and it points to source 2. Much like changing fire foxes name to “internet” for my mom.
People being good to other people. Gotta love it. Also makes me miss the days of DVD’s. I should also read some of those books on my bookshelf.
“I live alone “ and I am old and feeble. Ummmmmmmmmmm, did anyone else get worried for her safety :(
I was more thinking someone should just try to spend a little time with her. Shes probably starved for company
Somehow this makes me sad and reconsider lots of things. Someone cannot afford a few books or DVDs and for others it’s just a very small thing. Brave to ask and wholesome to see all the support.
It may have been during lockdown - without a computer books and DVDs would've been near impossible to get hold of.
I thought I was reading a choosing beggars post. Glad to see it wasn’t.
Nope, opposite of that. Appreciative asking-nicely's.
You're a good person, OP. Thank you for making the world a better place.
I hope someone left a note or something and kept checking in on her throughout the lockdown(s).
I miss my grandma so much. People like this just make me want to hand over anything I can and then sit at the table so I can wave before leaving. God bless.
I wish I could get this person a streaming device so they wouldn't be bored, so much free content to watch these days!
Yeah, that one got me...
Can't see through my glasses..
Buried my grandma today. Now in tears again. I hope this old bird gets lots of love, if I lived in the building I'd go over to spend some time with her...
This is what neighbors do for each other
Because that’s what heroes do
Karma up vote
Damn.. does anyone think this could be them someday?
Aww bless her.
This is so sweet. I'm not gonna look at any other comments, cuz I don't want this ruined.
I think I’d love to be her friend.
No I am not crying....
Thank you for think of others
It’s be super cool to offer some time to watch said movies with her, or catch up to talk about the movie after!
the kindness man
I have donated about 400 books to charity In the last week, I am moving home and have no room for my library. I would have loved to have set up a little lending library like the ones people have described here, unfortunately I live in a town of morons and they always get nicked or pissed on.
Does your building have a general address or PO Box where I can send some books I currently have (that I've already read) for her to enjoy?
Its sad being old in the present day. You are completely out of touch with what the younger generations are up to because of the suddent advent of internet and smartphones. There is barely anything common to talk about anymore. Old people used to be storehouses of wisdom and people used to seek their opinions on things. At this age even this connection is damaged by a quick google search.
I really do not understand why apartment complexes do not have a community board.
Getting rid of furniture? Board.
Need food? Board.
Pet sitting? Board.
I could go on, but creating a community within apartment living would go a long way to keeping people happy.
How lucky are her neighbours to have a foolproof means of making a new friend *and* get rid of some DVDs?
You haven't lived til you sit with the elderly who eat alone share a meal with them and listen to their stories. Walking into a place to eat there are always too many lonely people,especially the elderly. Asking if you can join them for a meal is amazing. Im not putting this out there for any awards or votes. This is purely selfish. You cant imagine the stories that are told. I've met someone who was there when jfk got shot. A trucker with some awesome stories from Canada. A doctor with crazy er stories! I woman who was a stripper in her day She was 80! I laughed and blushed while she shared her tales. I can honestly say now the conversations are addicting and mostly inspiring. I recommend everyone do this.
I hope someone goes and spends some time with her.
I have most of Michael Crichton’s fiction books, so if she was into that, she’d have a heyday with my collection. Sphere is still my most favorite book but damm the movie was atrocious.
Oh boy, time to spend some time with the old bird and play some dnd with her!
I’m surprise no one asked where she lived an offer to swing by for coffee
This looks like it could be a Dark Souls side mission
This is a repost from way back.