I spent the winter feeling zero desire to talk to anyone. I started working on a book proposal about being anti-social. Then this happens and suddenly I'm like, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN'T HANG OUT WITH MY FRIENDS?"

To make myself feel better, I wrote this story for Livability about how neighbors are staying connected while social distancing. Then in a classic Baader-Meinhoff effect, I couldn't stop noticing similar stories. Someone tied balloons to all the mailboxes on my friend Jen's street. My friend Adrienne shared this video of how her whole neighborhood celebrated a 90-year-old's birthday. And I read this killer story from my favorite Instagram Tiny Kindnesses:

"Our neighbor's window faces ours exactly. Yesterday, my daughter Ruby decided to draw a picture of a snail and taped it to the window so they could have something fun to look at while we're social distancing. Today to our great delight we discovered a message posted on their window, "There once was a snail named Simon..." We now go back and forth sharing new parts of Simon's story." (Insert all the sobbing emojis.)

I'd forgotten how much we need our communities and how marvelously creative we can be about supporting each other through crappy times—even while we're still being anti-social. It feels good to see some good in this mess.
Shameless self-promotion portion of the newsletter: I actually wrote two hopeful stories for Livability this week, the one about connecting with neighbors and another about helping your local businesses stay alive through all this craziness. Marni and I dropped the price for our Relocation Recovery course to $15 so you can get zen after you move. And finally, virtual book clubs are awesome, so if yours wants to read This Is Where You Belong, hit me up and I'll Zoom in.
7 items of interest
  1. "You know that feeling when you have a local restaurant and the owners know your name? Living in a small town is that feeling (almost) all the time.” What it's like moving from a big city to a small town. (Just putting it out there, this may be small towns' time to shine.)
  2. So many good uses for a Little Free Library (and this one could help you support a small business).
  3. A happy story from Italy(!) about a town using literature to tell its own stories
  4. Coronavirus spoiled the launch of my friend Kristin's amazing place-centric shop Why I Love Where I Live, so she made an awesome virtual tour so you can see what you're missing (and buy her stuff online).
  5. What mayors (and you) need to know about coronavirus, from the mayor of Seattle. 
  6. Walking feels like the mentally healthy thing to do right now, so I love hearing that Paris's mayor wants to turn it into a 15-minute city
  7. We will get back together again, and when we do, steal some placemaking ideas from this list of 100 actions taken by Australian towns.
xoxo, Melody
P.S.—As always, random bonus material for reading this far: These two amazing podcasts—one from 2020, one from 2002—remind me of each other. A Twitter thread for school musicals that didn't happen. Did you hear this crazy important earth-shaking news? 50 ways to be generous, a surprising number of which you can still do. Make these immediately and then tell me about it. Icebreaker questions for your virtual happy hour. Smart ideas for a 5-hour workday (though I'm shooting for 2). We all need to read this Mr. Rogers profile from time to time. My friend's new book that you need right now. The most wholesome TV show I've loved lately. David Blaine is still in league with the devil. Orange zamboni friend.
Copyright © 2020 Melody Warnick, All rights reserved.

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Melody Warnick · 1006 Kentwood Dr · Blacksburg, VA 24060 · USA

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