Moving out here it’s been quite an adjustment socially for us. As most of you who lived near us in Oregon know, Ryan and I love to hang out with friends. Whether it was having dinner, playing games, having a night out, getting the kids out to do something during the week, or even a trip to the beach.
When we wanted to do something or plan something, it seemed our first thought would always be, who can we share this with?
Sometimes it got to the point where we felt like maybe we didn’t make enough time for just the two of us. I remember once we were out at the beach house just us and Savannah, and the whole weekend we felt like something was missing. We had a great time relaxing and playing games and strolling the beach, but we just felt like something was wrong. Halfway through the weekend we realized it was just simply the fact that it had been so long since we had gone out there just ourselves and not invited anyone else along.
Things changed a bit when we lived at my parent house for a while and then when we moved down to Salem. Our barbeques and game nights became fewer and far between. Not many people wanted to make the 45 minute drive very often. But ask Dan and Holly (just about the only people we knew who lived in Salem); we still tried. And the four of us got together at least once a week for dinner or to play cards.
So I guess moving to Salem in a way helped prepare us for this season in our life of starting over in Michigan, where now we rarely ever have anything on our social calendar. We would have probably been shell-shocked if we had gone straight from having our every-other-weekly-barbeques with sometimes up to 30 different friends and friends-of-friends there, to only having a barbeque maybe once a month and always inviting the same four people.
Anyway, all that to say, we’re kind of having a hard time adjusting here in that aspect. I think I’m having a harder time than Ryan, because he at least has the chance to "socialize" and get to know some of the people he works with. I’m kind of limited on my resources right now. There’s not really anyplace to “hang out” with the kids and meet anyone during the day except maybe the parks. But I haven’t found very many opportunities to chat with moms even there. I’m hoping that when Savannah starts preschool, it seems like a pretty parent involved place and so maybe that will create quite a few connections. And I don’t know about the church we’ve been going to. They seem to be really big on meeting and including visitors and new people there, and they have like a 5-minute meet and greet time during the service, where people really do get around and talk to everyone, but we really haven’t met anyone. We probably shake a dozen different hands each Sunday we’re there, but we’re not meeting anyone. You know what I mean? We haven’t seemed to be able to find anyone who’s really interested in who we are or why we’re there. Everyone says hi and moves on to the next person or someone they know across the room. We’ve filled out the communication cards every week for like the past five weeks asking them to contact us about small groups or children’s ministries or information on becoming members, but we haven’t had anyone contact us as of yet. We keep thinking, “oh, its summer… it’ll be better in the fall… groups will start back up, people are on vacation, they’ll contact us eventually…“ etc. But I’m also starting to think maybe that’s not where we’re supposed to be. It’s like every week that goes by, I feel more and more uncomfortable there because we’re not getting “plugged in” and I don’t know what to do about it.
You could pray about that for us if you think of it.
This has just all been on my mind a lot this week while I'm alone here with Ryan out of town. He even knows people there on his trip. And I’ve been sitting here at home kind of lonely and feeling sorry for myself.
But tonight Katie and Nicole (my TWO friends here in Jackson!) came over and we had a really good time. We made daiquiris and mudslides and just hung out and talked and laughed and played games and laughed :) . It was really nice to just laugh with friends. Just to be with friends. It’s been awhile since I’ve had some of that. Thanks girls!
And I have to say, aside from missing all our friends back home, I have really enjoyed spending the past few months more one-on-one with my very best friend.
Ryan, it’s been kind of a nice change having to hang out with just you all the time!! I didn’t think we could be closer than we were, but having to depend solely on each other for so many things out here away from so many of our friends and family… I think it’s safe to say we have newfound appreciation for each other. I’ve loved painting with you and building with you and taking walks with you and watching and reflecting on our kids growing and learning with you. I love talking with you and laughing with you and beating you at scrabble (some of the time). I could never have made this move without you being as loving and supportive and encouraging and wonderful as you are. Thank you for being an amazing husband and an admirable dad to our beautiful kids. Thank you for being my best friend.