One thing I hadn’t anticipated when I somehow became chair – or, as they call it, president, not a title I care to have these days – of the library last year was all the meetings and events involved in this volunteer, and as far as I can see, pretty much perk-free position. As the only board member who still works full time (and apparently, the only board chair they have ever had who works full time) and the only one who lives in faraway Hooterville, I felt like I could skip some of the events from time to time when I was just a board member. Now I feel obligated to go, and indeed it seems that I am often expected to run the show and give speeches, another unlovely aspect of my exalted state.

So it was that I had a library meeting on Friday, another one on Saturday, and yet another one is looming this Friday. Last Friday’s meeting was a special one to discuss delays in dismantling the decrepit house next door. Before I joined the library board, they had bought a long vacant house and lot next door with a view to expanding the current library facilities into that space. One of my duties as chair was to find someone to do it. He has been doing a great job and is salvaging as much of the amazing redwood as he can, some of which has been set aside for the (distant) future expansion, but he expected to be done by the end of the old year, when his contract expired, and he has not. So the meeting was to hammer out these details and for me to sign them, along with the contractor.

The Saturday meeting was the annual meeting, which I blithely skipped last year, but could not this year. This year I had to emcee the proceedings, while having no idea what they were exactly. They included presenting the budget which I had put together with our Treasurer earlier in the year, even though I have never created a business budget before. Not knowing how to do things doesn’t seem to stop me, even if it should. I think it all went as well as such things can, though I am unenthused about yet another meeting hovering on the horizon. Three in about a week is too many. At least the next one is not on a weekend.

After the latest meeting, I spent some time chatting with the audience, including someone who asked me if I was related to Jonathan, since our last name is unusual. According to HowManyofMe, there are only around 120 of us with the same last name in the entire country. It turned out that this gentleman had recently retired from his Silicon Valley job, and from caring for his mother, who passed away just short of the age of 105. He moved here and met my brother through their shared interest in ham radio.

One of the board members, who is 85, told us that she grew up on a ranch in what was then called Santa Clara Valley rather than Silicon Valley, and in those days, there were just fruit trees as far as the eye could see. She described the Valley in springtime as “clouds of blossoms”. I was interested to note that nearly everyone I chatted with that day was a native Californian, including some who have lived right here for generations. It was nice to feel connected to our community and appreciate how the library and everyone who works there, in whatever capacity, is enriching our little corner of the world.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Visiting Erica and Jessica. Why didn’t I do that more often when I could?!

strong>TEN YEARS AGO: Kitty antics, inside and out.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: An airport adventure.

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