Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade - my 70th and taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

How Do You Make Friends?

Disclaimer: the photos accompanying this post have nothing to do with the post's subject. Find a description at the end.

Until we moved from Maryland to New Hampshire I had never given any thought to how I made friends.  Throughout my life it has just happened.  People from attending school and college.  Neighbors I played with.  People I worked with or met through church, volunteer activities, and from living in proximity to.

I've never been especially good at maintaining long friendships since I moved a lot when I was young. I know no one from childhood or high school.  I do stay in contact a couple times of year with my freshman college roommate (she reads this blog, she tells me, to keep up with what I'm up to.)

When I quit working for the government in 1985 I kept in contact with one woman who lived in Columbia too but since that friendship was based upon work experiences it didn't last.  I have several teacher friends though we all live away from MD now.  Getting together and staying in touch is difficult.

In moving away I left one important friendship, one which goes back to when our children were very young, which I will keep through the distance.  Other new friendships were made at Vantage House where we lived which we hope we can maintain.

But how to make new friends now?

Living in Covid times, we aren't meeting the neighbors. In the two plus months we've lived here we have not even seen who lives on either side of us or across the hall.  Learned today that the people under us sleep during the day because they complained to Management about the noise - that would have been granddaughter "pouncing" and jumping on the floor on Tuesday afternoon.  

There look to be people of our generation in this community but people don't speak from behind masks except to nod or mutter hello.

Neither of us work or volunteer yet so there's no chance of friendships from those experiences.  We are church goers but churches aren't meeting in person or if they are, there are limits to the number.

We'd tried two different churches online, one on the Lebanon green and one in Hanover at Dartmouth. Neither did it for us entirely.  Then I saw another church was having a BBQ chicken drive-through dinner sale.  We went.  Then looked up the church online.  We listened to recordings of church services.

I sent an email asking to be put on the email list of notices which is what I did with the other two churches.  Sunday I called the church to find out how to listen to their service for Sunday and spoke to the pastor.  She followed up Monday with a response to my email and then we chatted on Tuesday.

I got invited to a parking lot gathering of the Women's group for Thursday morning at 9 am.  

I went this morning! I think this will work to meet and make friends.  It will take time but I have that.

Ever thought about how you make friends?


Explanation of the photos: There must be a scarecrow contest going on in Enfield, NH.  There are many more on the street throughout the town.  I captured the ones we saw when we walked on the Northern Rail Trail portion that's in Enfield.  The rail trail starts here near us and goes all the way to Concord. The photo above is a post leftover from when it was a railroad.  It's saying there are 11 miles to White River Junction, VT.  The lake you see is Mascoma Lake which feeds the Mascoma River which runs outside our windows here to the Connecticut River.



Anvilcloud said...

Yeah, in normal times for many people, church is a good place to meet people. We are not church-goers, however. Sue has a group that she mostly met through previous neighbours or through exercise class. I am not sure how I met Bob, but it has something to do with photography. It was probably when we were both contacted to help with photographing some town celebrations a few years ago.

Tom said...

...I've always been a bit of a loner and don't have a lot of friends. That is REAL friends! These are uncertain times, we just have to go with the flow. Good luck to you and stay safe.

sbrgirl said...

I can certainly relate! We have been living in our current town for four years and have joined two "civic" groups, a beekeeping club, and recently a church that is in the process of forming. We have had acquaintances here, but not actual friends. Just recently we have begun a friendship with another politically, like-minded couple, and I believe we will also be making some church friends. It has not been a quick process though, probably in large part because we tend to be sort of shy. We have had to reach out and extend and accept invitations. I hope you will find your people!

Barbara Rogers said...

Yes, being a senior who lives independently still, with no "home " experience except living in a senior apartment complex, I have found friends mainly through groups of like-minded people. My neighbors are all nice, and I may have some who are like-minded, but I veered away from asking much about their viewpoints. I'm pretty sure I live among a lot of T-rump supporters. That's one barrier to friendship these days. I have already been active in my church here for years...and that's how I've made friends. I've moved a lot through the years, and found my friends develop within a year of attending the same denomination in each area. We Unitarian Universalists are known for social action as well as reaching out to new-commers. Of course that may not be your cup of tea, so I salute you for trying several congregations till you find the right fit. It may take longer with Covid for you of course.

Cynthia said...

I (we) have given that a lot of thought since we moved to Georgetown and are finding it very hard to make friends. I hope you have found the key in your new hometown.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The scarecrows are so cute and that's a fun idea! And I agree with's hard to make friends or even maintain friends right now. I like to walk with a group of ladies...but not now. And I was a volunteer for Hospice but that is on hold now too. It sure has been odd. I'm thankful for a good husband that is my best friend. But it will be nice when we can chat and HUG our friends again! And talk to people at the store! haha! Hugs!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I am sure it must be exceptionally difficult to move so late in life. Based on my life's experiences I can recommend heartily joining your local naturalists club, or Audubon Society chapter. You will meet no finer group of people, all interesting too. They will put churchgoers to shame!

Margaret said...

A very interesting topic. So much has become difficult since C19 and socializing is one of them. It sounds like you know exactly what to do, and have already started the process. Once you can volunteer and join groups, it will be even better. I live in the community where I was born and taught school for 37 years, so I have friends from junior high, high school, teaching, my daughters' activities, Book Club and several other groups I belong to. I even have a couple friends from blogging. One lives close to me so we go out to coffee (distanced in our cars with the windows rolled down) but one lives in Scotland.

Bonnie K said...

I'm not much of a church person as they seem to have strong cliques. The one that actually had the pastor follow up sounds interesting. Keep me posted. It may change my mind about organized religion.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

What you have written is so true, Marcia, and making friends as we age is difficult. We have a few friends in our native NJ and while we keep in contact through phone calls, we haven’t seen them in nearly a year. We also have a couple of friends in the small VA town we lived in for 12 years, but again do not see them. My closest friends are 2 women in NJ, one I attended high school with and another I worked with over 20 years ago. We “know” neighbors here in the mill apts, but these are not long term, close friends in that sense. Pre Covid we had a weekly dominoes group at the local senior center and attended events at the library and historical society and other places.All those events and activities have been suspended now. We have taken to more day tripping, like yourselves, because at least we can be outdoors. Perhaps, we can connect on a future one?