#MyFavePortal or, how Niantic brought together a community during Covid

We don't have many portals up here in the mountains. I love it up here where the air is fresh and clear, and from one minute to the next you do not know whether it will rain, snow, hail or be sunny. It's anybody's guess and it makes life really interesting. I gave up on sojourner long ago - when the weather is bad, the roads can be nearly impassible, and it is so much work to dig your jeep out and drive to the nearest portal (mine is...was...about a mile away). Doing Wayfarer reviews, I was always envious of the "Little Free Library" portals. Civilized neighborhoods have them. I wondered, if we built one for the neighborhood, could it be turned into a portal? The roads and property lines up here all blend together, it might not be obvious if something was on public space, and people might see it as a bid for a couch portal. But the more I thought about it, the more I saw the importance of the library, and not so much of the portal. We are all stranded up here during the quarantine, the public libraries are closed, local kids are really isolated. So, I decided to go big. At the very end of my property, out of reach of my house (for those of you who are wondering), just on the edge of the public road, stands an old cabin. It was once the home of the pastor who served at the church that has since been renovated and become my mountain home. When I first moved here, it was just an old shed that no one cared about,falling into ruin with a leaky roof, but it has a marvelous pink quartz fireplace in it, and with a little elbow grease, the original wood floor came shining back into good form. A new metal roof with the help of a local handyman solved the leaks. THIS was the perfect home for our neighborhood Little Free Library. Except, it is more like a Medium Free Library. I proposed the idea to the neighborhood. Were they interested? We'd need bookcases, books, and people who would help maintain it. I'd bear the cost of registering it as a Free Library and getting it onto the Free Library map. And so, the Raccoon Circle Little Free Library was born. It is serving the neighborhood well, with many visitors each day, all bringing books to donate, and taking new book friends home to read. Volunteers are planning to mend some of the broken windows and maybe, just maybe, provide it with solar panels for heat and light in the winter. My original wish for a portal within walking distance was achieved, but really, so much more has come of it that the portal doesn't matter so much. The local kids are delighted that it has also become a Pokestop! One day even a HPWU poi will grace our library (it hasn't yet, but we are hoping) But most importantly, it has become a place for the neighborhood to gather, (in a socially distant manner), share some favorite reading, and one day, gather as a community for parties, whiskey tastings, who knows what...even board game nights, as soon as someone donates a table! Feel free to come visit. The neighbors are awesome, the books are plentiful, board games are there - it's a wonderful day in our neighborhood. Thanks, Niantic, for giving me the idea! And thanks Raccoon Circle neighborhood for pitching in to create a Community Center and library that will be the heart of our neighborhood for years to come.

#Wayfarer @NianticBrian #MyFavePortal #MyIngressStory @Ace

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