I Heart the Tooling Lending Library

In the middle of chaos came Shirley. I was washing salad greens for the Pop Up General store and someone knocked on the door. I’m like, “Who that?” from the top of the stairs, and then just another polite knock. So I went downstairs and there she was: the (relatively) new owner of the lot. “Shirley?” I said, and she nodded. Dreading condos, but knowing the real reason why she had come over, I asked how she was doing, and told her to come out into the garden, as I had a gift for her. I dashed upstairs and got a vase and scissors. Her timing really could not have been more perfect. The orange tiger lilies which she asked me to plant for her were in full glorious bloom. I arranged a vase of the flowers for her, and then we talked about the property.

I really needed to mow down all the weeds in the strip next to the sidewalk, Shirley told me. I know, I know, I said, but I don’t have any time. Then she looked confused: “But what about all the time you spent in here, growing stuff?” she laughed. “I mean, I don’t have time for maintenance,” I giggled. You know how there’s this thing that is really bugging you–some chore that you really need to take care of but never get around to it? Cutting grass is like that for me, I avoid it until it’s too late. Then I gave her a copy of Farm City, just so she would know the whole story.

OK, I thought, after she left, now with a fire under my ass to tidy up the place. I better find my machete. But I couldn’t locate it. Then I remembered the Tool Lending Library in Temescal. The history of the library is cool: after the 1991 fire in the Oakland Hills, they wanted to set up a resource center for rebuilding. It didn’t take hold and get fully funded through the library until 2000. Anyway, I ran down there, signed up, rented two hand tools. The next day I could return the hand tools and will have earned the right to rent a power tool. A juicy WeedWacker! These grasses and weeds were huge. The next day, my savior was there, cleaned and ready. It only took me half an hour to wack it back, and then some weeds out in the garden too. What a relief, and thank the ghods for Oakland’s Tool Lending Library! As for condos? Shirley told me not this year.

If you want to find out more about the TLL, click here.  They do have weird hours, so check the website before hustling down there.

10 responses to “I Heart the Tooling Lending Library

  1. Wait a sec… Did I miss a post sometime? The lot was sold? When did that happen? What’s the outlook short & long term?

    If you’ve already posted about this, just send me the link.

    Thanks!
    Kitty

  2. The Berkeley Public Library also has a lending library.

    1901 Russell St
    (between Martin Luther King Jr Way & Otis St)
    Berkeley, CA 94703
    Neighborhood: South Berkeley
    (510) 981-6101
    berkeleypubliclibrary.org/about_…

    Hours:

    Tue, Sat 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

    Wed-Thu 12 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

    Fri 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

  3. Very cool, and very civilized, I might add.

  4. MotherLodeBeth

    OMGosh I so hope NO condos or building goes in. In fact I would like to see tax breaks given to any land owner who leaves vacant land vacant. Here in rural CA there is the Williamson (?) Act where you can get a break if the land is left alone or only used for cattle, horse grazing etc.

  5. I hella heart the TLL! Ty and his crew are friendly, knowledgeable, and have saved my hide way too many times. One of the jewels of Oakland in my book!

  6. tool lending library, what a fantastic idea! i’m going to pitch it to our town hall. we all garden here and could save tons this way.

    btw, i went to get my machete two days ago and it was gone, someone stole it out of the chicken house (they also have been stealing eggs). how funny that we were looking for our machetes at the same time. who would have thought?

  7. In fact I would like to see tax breaks given to any land owner who leaves vacant land vacant

  8. MotherLodeBeth

    Biber Hapail, I would love to see a push made to give inner city lot owners a major tax break for NOT building, but instead allow gardens. Liability issues could be covered by some type of good Samaritan style law. And think of the health benefits that green belts, gardens etc provide for a concrete area. And in an area where there are no grocery stores think of the healthy food items that one could grow, which in turn would help create a healthier community. ~Beth~

  9. I feel your pain. The zoning officer in my town just paid me a visit to ask me to clean up my “mess” on the side of my house. I was stumped. There’s a mess there? Apparently there was, and neighbors wanted it attended to. So I did. Identifying and dealing with messes is not my strong point, though.

  10. MotherLodeBeth

    minor catastrophes you wrote that the zoning officer in my town just paid me a visit to ask me to clean up my “mess” on the side of my house. I was stumped. There’s a mess there? Apparently there was, and neighbors wanted it attended to. So I did. Identifying and dealing with messes is not my strong point, though.

    Am always curious what the word ‘mess’ means to zoning officers. I am serious. A few years ago I had a friend with me and we were driving down an area here in the Sierras where I live and she looked at a pile of firewood someone had and asked why anyone would allow a mess like that. Bear in mind she doesnt live here but has a vacation home. She had no idea that a load of firewood ready to be stacked is NOT a mess.

    ~Beth~

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s