I’m still not exactly sure how I became the President of the library board. It’s strange for an impostor like me to run meetings and sign official documents, even though I sign all the checks at work. When Megan was living with me* while she was in high school, I went to all her parent-teacher interviews as her “parent”, and every time I went, I half expected them to tell me that I had to go back to high school since I wasn’t a real grown-up**.

There are more events than I expected when I joined the library board, and it can be hard to fit them into my long and busy work days, but as President, I feel I have to go. Recently, a thank you dinner for library volunteers was held at the beautiful Guest House Museum in the heart of the Big Town. I love it that this lovely home, built in 1892, is still the tallest building in town:

I was less than delighted to learn that I was expected to make a speech at the volunteer thank you dinner. Other than speaking at my father’s funeral nearly 20 years ago, I don’t remember having to speak in public. I could happily have gone another twenty years to forever without doing so. Here’s what I said:

It’s been an eventful year for the Friends of the Fort Bragg Library. We have started to make some real progress in dismantling the Whipple Street house, a meaningful step toward the future of expanding our library. Thank you to Daniel Z— for providing invaluable technical advice and support as we move forward with this project.

We lost three beloved Board members over the course of this year: Carol L—, Jennifer W—, and Jane V—, all long-serving and dedicated Friends who are dearly missed and will never be forgotten. If you seek their memorial, look around you. We are fortunate to have some new Board members who bring fresh ideas and expertise with them, and who have already made some very valuable contributions to the Board.

Thanks to Sandra F—’s wonderful “Thousand Dollar Club” idea and advocacy, funds continue to roll in towards making the dream of a bigger and better library come true. Fundraising events have been very successful this year, thanks to our dedicated volunteers, some new and some of many years’ standing. Thank you to all of you who contribute your time, your ideas, your perspiration, and your inspiration to helping your local library and community. We couldn’t do it without you. Here’s to you!

It went pretty well, though, judging by the applause. I don’t think public speaking is going to become a favorite hobby or anything. But I am proud of the work we are doing at the library and how much it means to our little community.

*I never really thought about how weird this situation was until a couple of years ago. Looking back, I can’t believe that a 23 year old was expected to parent a 14 year old. It all worked out in the end, though.

**Someone recently pointed out to me that actual grown ups do not refer to themselves or others of their ilk as “grown ups”. They use the term “adult”. Apparently, my use of the term “grown up” is just one of the many signs that I am not one.

A YEAR AGO: Some things were better. And some weren’t.

FIVE YEARS AGO: A trip to the south coast. And an unexpected cow.

TEN YEARS AGO: An impending job interview. Bonus: Baby Jessica!! Oh, the cuteosity!


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