I’ve been met by many unexpected acts of kindness this month (probably from many of you who are currently reading this), but two in particular stand out today.
Last night at 8:33pm, I was freaking out. I’d hit every source I could think to market the tiny cookbook to. Print media, online media, my entire network, my entire network’s networks, every social media outlet, blogs, kid’s organizations, foodie groups, networking events, in person meetings…you name it. I was out of ideas with a little over a thousand dollars to go. I didn’t know what else to do. Things were looking dire for the tiny cookbook. I couldn’t say with 25 hours to go I could get 42 more people to buy a tiny cookbook.
Then a pledge came in for $500. No reward. Just a flat pledge. I burst into tears. I know who it was, too. An aunt I haven’t seen since I was probably 12 years old. We don’t exchange cards, we’re not friends on Facebook, we probably know little more about each other than our names. She has no reason to be invested in me or this tiny cookbook, yet she gave because she knew it would help. What an unexpected act of kindness at a moment I really needed it. After that, I knew it’d be ok. I could get $711. People would finish out the margin. Rest assured, I’ll be sending my aunt a thank you note.
The second act of kindness came from a complete stranger. I contacted The Miniature Book Society (a wise tip from librarian friend Becky O’Neil) on a whim with just 45 hours to go. This was my email.
I didn’t expect to get a response, and if I did, I thought it’d be something along the lines of “Don’t spam us” or “We’re not interested”. Yet I received this response shortly after.
How sweet is that?!? Over the last 24 hours, Barbara and I have exchanged many emails, each one nicer than the last. She told me all about the many interests we have in common. This one story will sum up our synchronicities pretty well.
Over a year ago, Barbara decided to build a Little Free Library for her front yard. (Which happens to be one of the 10 Tiny Things I Love About Columbus.) The day she installed it, she hosted an Open House for her whole community to come visit her Little Free Library AND walk through her home where she had on display over 2,000 miniature books. Friends, neighbors, church goers and the news media milled around her home all day long admiring her tiny books.
You know what else she did? She served tiny food. TINY FOOD! On tiny white plates that looked like open books. How much do you want Barbara as a neighbor right now? She made tiny food for breakfast AND lunch, feeding what I picture to be her entire town. She even sent me some photos and offered to share them with you here.
Projects like this tiny cookbook will continue to surprise me in unexpected ways, like how far I’ll stretch to make them happen and the things I learn throughout the process, but most importantly, through the kindness of the people I meet along the way. I always say I love food because of how it brings people together. Sometimes in very unexpected ways.