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February 14, 2022: The Queen of Hearts

There, in that title, two combined metaphors. It’s Valentine’s Day; hence, the Queen of Hearts reference. And again, I think of a house of cards when the project comes to mind.

Valentine’s Day, blustery and snowy. I went to town with Pete and Bill – Pete was taking Bill to retrieve his now fixed vehicle. I could have driven in, but I just didn’t want to deal. So I hitched a ride with the pair. A good decision. Visibility was starting to get limited.

El (sister) said to get Pete a treat for Valentines Day. Treats around here are literally for the dogs. I envisioned putting a dog bone on a plate and calling it a treat. I didn’t do this because I didn’t want to disappoint. He did get us white Irises a few days ago, which are holding up just fine.

The house of cards. The Bright Lights Book Project continues to grow – I will consider it to be a house of cards until we get nonprofit status, and money rolling in. Every day we check the mailbox. Every day, nada.

Pete moving snow

But community support, either in people wanting to donate books or in wanting to get books, continues to create work for me. Today, Pete dropped me off at the U-Haul storage locker, and I put three boxes of books on a rolling cart. Shortly thereafter, a fellow from Nugen’s Ranch, the Wasilla based substance abuse place, sent what he called a “farm rancher” over to pick up three boxes. I was feeling self-congratulatory, having the boxes ready to go.

The storage unit is now nearly empty. There are no more children’s or kids’ books on hand. There are a good number of VCRS books though. And lots of cardboard boxes.

This is the truly big thing. I talked with Brent Kendell, who is the supervisor at the Anchorage School District Warehouse, and he said that he has several pallets of books – children and young adult, ready to go. And the warehouse will bring them to the Valley.

So here we go again. I was heartened when he said that “our project is a breath of fresh air to the industry,” the industry being the book-related aspect of the school district doings. Imagine – us being a breath of fresh air.

If we get the room, we will become a state-entity. This is where the house of cards analogy comes in. In order to take on additional books, we are going to need space. And in order to get space, we are going to need to get a 501C3. We are already a nonprofit. We just need the IRS designation.

We can’t do much of anything now because what we need to do requires money.

We have done an excellent job in terms of this grass roots effort. But we mainly need space. And we need bookcases. Construction materials cost money.

Yes, I have lost sleep thinking about all this, and have pictured someone pulling a card and the whole creation toppling.

This may not be the job for me. But I sense that now there is to be no turning back.

Ayyy carumba.

Next: 46. 2/15/22: A Conversation with Tinni

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