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The Library Cat of Port Austin

Library regulars expect to see books, computers, magazines, posters, notices, bulletin boards and even seminars at the local library building or community center adjacent to such facilities. However, they typically don’t expect to see a dedicated house cat and standard equipment. However, for Port Austin, a feline accompaniment is exactly what’s on order for book lovers and library fans in the local town.

Named Booker, which oddly seems to be similar to books, the orange feline wasn’t a planned acquisition for the library. Instead, the cat decided to make the place home all on its own. It helped that once the cat became a regular, the patrons and staff made a point of taking care of the cat as well. Good things happen when you’re regularly fed at the same location daily.

This September 2022 will be a solid three years since the cat showed up, and Booker isn’t making any bones about leaving. Mary Jaworski was the original discoverer of Booker. She originally found the cat had somehow snuck into her garage at home, half-blind, and unable to eat on its own. Jaworski tried to find someone to take in the cat, but nobody was volunteering or available. As the library director for Port Austin, Jaworski ended up watching and caring for the orange feline both at home and at work. It helped that the library board was also fond of cats as well. So, as it turned out, Booker was charmed; the cat not only had a home to roam around, it had multiple fans to take care of the cat as well throughout the day.

As it turned out, the patrons liked the idea of a home cat lounging around and roaming the Port Austin library on a regular basis. It made the library homey and comfortable. That helped Booker’s transition inside the library as well, after the cat was up to date on all his shots and safe around all of the patrons, including kids.

Booker wasn’t lacking anything inside the library, and there was no worry he was going to start exercising his claws on the book inventory. Instead, the cat has its own cat tree, carpet for claws, appropriate amenities for personal business, and plenty of cat toys and areas to escape when it gets busy and the cat just wants to be left alone. Booker actually became so popular, he started to develop a collection of donated toys and cat food from the locals. And if he happened to be out of sight longer than normal, everybody would start asking where he was and if everything was alright with the animal.

Celebrity status probably wasn’t in the cat’s original plans, but Booker seems to have adapted quite fine to all the attention he gets on a regular basis. The kids play with the cat when he wants activity, and, in turn, Booker has been an attraction to bring more kids to the facility and into reading in general. And Booker is quite good at hamming it up for the crowd. He loves the petting, getting held, sitting next to patrons on the furniture and is not easily spooked by the human activity going on daily. In fact, Booker is probably one of the best behaved cats most people will meet.

Finally, Jaworski notes, Booker has a habit of wanting to sound out any new arrivals he hasn’t seen or smelled before. If there are bags or belongings, he’s all over the stuff before the patron realizes what’s going on. That said, Booker isn’t about to have a team under his leadership. One cat seems to be more than enough for the library and its customers for now. Ironically, Jaworski herself is allergic to cats, but she tolerates Booker. Ultimately, the cat earns his keep attracting more than the normal flow of patrons to the Port Austin library, easily justifying the operations and helping the library grow.

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Bus Driver’s Heartwarming Act: Helping a Boy on Pajama Day

Kevin Wells

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In Louisville, Kentucky, a heartwarming story unfolded on a school day that was meant to be special for young Levi, a first-grader at Engelhard Elementary School. It was Pajama Day, and all the kids were excited to wear their cozy pajamas to school. But Levi didn’t have any pajamas, and this made him very sad.

Levi’s usual cheerful demeanor caught the attention of his bus driver, Larry Farrish Jr., known for his kindness and caring nature. Larry noticed Levi sitting on the ground with a jacket over his head instead of his usual spot waiting with a big smile. Concerned, Larry asked Levi what was wrong.

Through tears, Levi explained that he didn’t have pajamas for Pajama Day. This touched Larry’s heart, and he knew he had to help. After finishing his morning routes, Larry went to a nearby store and bought two pairs of pajamas for Levi. He then went to Levi’s school to deliver them.

When Levi saw the pajamas, his face lit up with excitement. He hugged them tightly, grateful for Larry’s kindness. Levi even said, “I can tell Mr. Larry is nice and his heart is filled with joy,” and “When he got me the pajamas, I did a happy cry.”

Larry, who has worked in various professions before finding his passion for bus driving, says he loves building bonds with the children. After the school district shared the story on Facebook, many people praised Larry for his kindness and shared their own positive experiences with him.

Larry Farrish Jr.’s act of kindness not only made Levi’s day but also inspired many others. It’s a reminder that small gestures of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life.

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“More More More”: A Grandson’s Gift of a Lifetime

Jess

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Fifty years ago, Barbara, a loving grandmother, penned a children’s book titled “More More More”. Little did she know that half a century later, her dream of seeing it published would come true, thanks to her grandson, Chad.

“More More More” is a heartwarming story about two little girls from different economic backgrounds – one rich and one poor. The book beautifully illustrates how friendship transcends material wealth, a lesson as relevant today as it was when Barbara first wrote it.

Barbara’s journey to getting her book published was not easy. Despite her efforts and dedication, her manuscript was met with rejection after rejection. She kept all these letters, perhaps as a reminder of her dream, in a folder that symbolized both hope and disappointment.

Understanding the significance of his grandmother’s book, Chad decided to take matters into his own hands. He navigated the world of self-publishing to bring “More More More” to life. The moment Barbara opened her gift and saw her book finally published, she was speechless and overcome with emotion. This wasn’t just a book; it was a fulfillment of a lifelong dream, made possible by the love and dedication of her grandson.

The book’s publication was just the beginning. To the family’s surprise, “More More More” quickly climbed the charts, becoming a bestseller. The response from readers was overwhelming, with many praising its timeless message and charming story.

Barbara’s story inspires us to hold onto our dreams, no matter how long it takes for them to come true. And for Chad, it’s a reminder that sometimes, the most meaningful gifts we can give are those that realize the dreams of the ones we love.

“More More More” is now available for a new generation of children and parents to enjoy, serving as a beacon of hope for aspiring authors everywhere. It proves that sometimes, all a dream needs to become reality is a little help from someone who believes in it.

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Lost Letter Finds Its Way Home After 80 Years!

Kelly Taylor

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Imagine discovering a message from the past, tucked away in the dusty corners of a post office. That’s exactly what happened in DeKalb, Illinois, where an 80-year-old postcard finally completed its journey, thanks to the dedication of a kind postal worker and the power of social media.

The postcard, written in 1943, was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Louis George, residents of South 6th Street in DeKalb. It had somehow gone astray for eight long decades, gathering dust amongst forgotten packages and misdirected mail. But its story wasn’t over yet.

Sarah, a sharp-eyed employee at the DeKalb post office was determined to reunite the letter with its rightful recipient, she scoured records and tapped into the magic of social media. With a heartfelt post online, she spread the word about the lost letter, hoping to find any living members of the George family.

And guess what? Social media worked its magic! The online sleuthing led Sarah to Jeannette Salazar, Grace’s daughter and the granddaughter of Louis and Lavena George. Turns out, the Georges had relocated from DeKalb decades ago, and Grace had recently moved to Portland, Oregon.

The reunion was emotional, to say the least. The postcard held a message of condolence from Louis’s cousin, offering comfort after the heartbreaking loss of their daughter, Evelyn, to Cystic Fibrosis. “It got me emotional,” Jeannette shared. “Losing a child is always horrific, and it just put me in touch with my parents’ grief.”

For Jeannette, the letter wasn’t just about the past; it was a bridge to the present. “As I get older,” she said, “I appreciate family more and more. This letter connects me to my family’s history and makes me feel part of something bigger.”

This heartwarming story shows that even in the age of instant messaging and online communication, old-fashioned snail mail can still hold surprises. Thanks to Sarah’s diligence and the power of social media, a long-lost message found its way home, bringing peace and a touch of magic to a family across the miles. Now, that’s something worth writing about!

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A Special Surprise: 7-Year-Old Girl Throws Unforgettable 100th Birthday Bash for Longtime Friend

Jess

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In a cute celebration in Pennsylvania, a 7-year-old girl named Layla Peck pulled off an incredible surprise for her “best friend” Joe Gagliardi, who was turning 100 years old. The surprise involved a fire truck, jokes about their shared age, and a thoughtful gesture that left everyone touched.

Layla made quite the entrance at Joe’s house, arriving in a fire truck with sirens blaring, creating an exciting and memorable moment for the birthday celebration. The playful banter between Layla and Joe about their shared age added a touch of humor to the festivities.

“We’re both the same age,” joked Gagliardi. “Give or take 93 years.”

Curious about the remarkable friendship between Layla and Joe, reporters asked, “How long have you guys been friends?” Layla responded with a smile, “Since I was a baby.” The unique connection between them goes beyond their age difference. Layla’s dad, Sean Peck, grew up just two houses down from Joe.

“I grew up two houses down. I always listened to Joe’s stories as a veteran, and that encouraged me to join the Army,” shared Peck, highlighting the influence of Joe’s experiences on his own life choices.

The highlight of Layla’s surprise was the 100 handmade cards she brought from her friends at St. Andrew’s Catholic School in Newtown. Layla explained the thoughtful gesture, saying, “I thought, ‘Since he’s turning 100, maybe we should make him 100 cards, ’cause he’s a good person!’ We made 100 cards, the whole first grade did.”

The touching display of affection from Layla and her classmates demonstrated the impact that Joe has had on the community and the deep appreciation they feel for his presence in their lives. The handmade cards, filled with love and good wishes, added a personal and heartwarming touch to the birthday celebration.

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Lost Pigeon Found Outside Florida Hair Salon

Kelly Taylor

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A lost pigeon was reunited with its owner after being missing for over 15 months. The story unfolded outside Eva’s Hair and Skin Salon in Cape Coral, Florida, where the pigeon captured the attention of salon staff and customers alike.

The pigeon’s journey began during Hurricane Ian, when it got separated from its owner. Somehow, it found its way to the vicinity of Eva’s Hair and Skin Salon, where fate had a different plan in store.

It was a regular day at the salon when people started to notice the bird outside. Unusually friendly and approachable, the pigeon caught the eye of Elizabeth Merriken, a customer at the salon who had a soft spot for stray animals. Elizabeth decided to approach the bird and was surprised to find a phone number attached to its foot.

“I’m always finding homeless stray animals. So it was typical for me,” Elizabeth shared, describing her initial encounter with the pigeon.

Tammy Pangburn, a massage therapist at the salon, was the first to observe the bird’s friendly behavior. She noticed the pigeon attempting to drink water dripping down from a recently watered plant. Little did they know that this seemingly ordinary bird was someone’s missing pet.

Upon discovering the phone number on the pigeon’s foot, Elizabeth and the salon staff decided to call it, hoping to reunite the bird with its owner. To their delight, the person on the other end of the line revealed that the pigeon had gone missing during Hurricane Ian more than 15 months ago.

“We called him to see if he was missing a bird, and he says it’d been missing since the hurricane,” recounted Merriken, describing the unexpected phone call that led to a heartwarming reunion.

The owner, overwhelmed with joy at the news, expressed gratitude for the unexpected turn of events. The reunion, which took place just in time for Christmas, was dubbed a “little Christmas miracle” by Tammy Pangburn.

The touching moment was captured by the salon staff, showcasing the special bond between the pigeon and its owner. Elizabeth reflected on the emotional connection between the two, noting how the bird clearly recognized and responded to its owner.

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