I have a GREAT group of friends. Some friendships go all the way back to childhood. But most of them live 3 hours away from me now. I am a social person and while I enjoy my quiet time too, I do like to spend time with other people more. I like to share experiences with people, whether it is going for a good walk, enjoying a good lunch, talking about a book we’ve read, learning new things or making fools of ourselves at karaoke. With my old friends so far away and Chad working full time away from home, I knew I would need to expand my circle of friends when we moved. So we have spent the last few years getting to know people who live here. I even created a “cheat sheet” to help keep everyone straight (It has served me well since I am not good with names.)
I also wanted to get involved in the community an find ways to help my new community. The first group I joined was the Friends of the Lighthouse and State Park. I volunteered at their Farm Market booth last weekend. It was nice getting to talk to people. I also volunteered to help give tours at the lighthouse. I talked to so many interesting people that day and enjoyed be able to answer some questions and feel like I was representing my new town. I am starting to recognize people, even if I haven’t talked to them before. “That’s the couple we see out by the dock”, “I’ve seen him walking his dog in town”, “I’ve seen her at karaoke”. It’s a small town so that tends to happen here. (If I get a chance to talk to them, I discreetly jot their name down to add to my list later.)
We’ve stopped in and talked with many local business owners in town, and their employees. I know the name of the butcher at the corner store, the women at the jewelry store on the next block, the owners of the cute Made in Michigan store, and of course just about everyone that works at the Tawas Bay Beach Resort! I try to help promote their businesses on social media when I can. I share links on Facebook about activities and events in town, which has led to some nice online friendships with local people. People have reached out to me thanking me for keeping them in the loop and sharing things with me that I didn’t know about.
We are going to community band concerts, street dances and joined a community garden. I’ve talked to some nice people there who have been happy to share their gardening knowledge with me. It still hasn’t helped me save my zinna’s but I’m not giving up quite yet. We are going to be joining a civic group, most likely the Eagles, that has their own events as well as community service opportunities. I will post more on that once we get started with it.
We are throwing a little housewarming party this weekend to invite people over and thank them for welcoming us to town. Everyone has been so friendly! They never make us feel like “outsiders”. And I am realizing that there are a lot of people here who originally came from others areas too. This place just calls to you and tempts you into staying. I feel very fortunate to have a great group of lifelong friends as well as the beginnings to many new friendships.