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Posts Tagged ‘making new friends’

Yesterday, April 20, marked a special day for us. We moved from Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, to Franklin, Tennessee, exactly six months ago on October 20. I’ll have to say this half-year in our lives has been quite a ride. We’ve been up and down, excited and fearful. However, moving here to The Fountains has given us new insights into our strengths and weaknesses.

Lesson #1. Change is hard. At this time in life, it is much more difficult to adapt to new surroundings than we thought. When we moved from Tupelo, Mississippi, to Hot Springs Village almost 15 years ago, change seemed easier. We were still physically and mentally active. We found new activities quickly—Robin with his golf and me with the writing club. Although the Village roads were winding and hilly, the traffic was light, and we drove around easily. Franklin, with its busy streets and heavy traffic, has been much harder for us to deal with. But we are adjusting.

Lesson #2. Our grown children are experts we can rely on. Without special helpers like adult children or younger friends, finding new doctors, getting new drivers’ licenses, etc. can be much more difficult for us older folks in a new place. We have a new appreciation for the expertise of those who can steer us in the right direction without taking over completely.

Lesson #3. Creating a new home is still fun. Moving into a smaller space requires getting rid of many possessions. However, it does feel good to clean out closets and cabinets and donate items in good condition to friends or to worthwhile organizations like Habitat for Humanity or the Salvation Army. After moving into our new home, we’ve had fun, shopping and finding a few new things to enhance the space where we now reside.

Lesson #4. Making new friends is essential. We moved at the beginning of winter, and that was a mistake. The cold, rainy weather discouraged us from venturing out, and we felt lonesome and isolated. We moved to be closer to our children, but their work and families still occupied most of their time. We did enjoy a number of occasions when we would all get together, but people our age still need friends of our own. Now, I have become active in a local church, and I’m making new friends there. Recently, Robin and I invited a retired couple from the church over for supper, and we had a great time.

Lesson #5. Keeping up with old friends is essential too. We still love to get phone calls and texts from out-of-town friends and family. I continue emailing each day with a very close friend. I’m still writing a blog post at least once a month and getting feedback on that. One friend told me, “Maddie, you’re the kind of person who can blossom wherever you are planted.” That kind of encouragement can definitely keep one going.

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Today, we woke up to a chilly 33 degrees. Several mornings ago, we even had a light dusting of snow. March cold snaps like this are not that unusual here in the mid-South, but this year, Robin and I are especially antsy for spring to arrive.

For weeks now, my husband has been clamoring to get back out to the golf course, and he’s growing more and more bored, working his Sudoku puzzles and computer games. He and I do make our weekly trips to the grocery store and to Planet Fitness, but we’re eager to find new activities and make new friends.

Yesterday, we decided to explore The Factory at Franklin. This complex of several Depression-era buildings has been renovated to create an indoor mall of sorts, with small specialty shops and restaurants. Many of the stores had been closed, but we found a bakery, an ice cream shop, several artists’ galleries, boutiques, and an antiques store. They reminded us of the kinds of establishments we’d visited many times in historic downtown Hot Springs.

We left The Factory, headed to a nearby restaurant for lunch, and then we returned home. But as warmer weather returns, we’ll be venturing out many more times to other places we’ve heard about.

Tomorrow, I’ll be going to lunch with a new friend I met at a women’s retreat sponsored by Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church the first weekend in March. Linda and I are about the same age, and she invited me to meet her at Cheddar’s, a nice restaurant up in the Brentwood area. That’ll be fun. She and her husband, George, both attend HFPC, and Robin and I plan to invite them to our villa for coffee and conversation sometime soon.

On Friday, we’re expecting to see another couple we knew when we lived in Tupelo, Mississippi. Their daughter and her family have recently moved to Franklin, and they’re coming up for a weekend visit with their daughter. We’re looking forward to having them over and showing them around the Fountains.

So, my dear readers, it does appear that life in our new locale will not be “chilly” for us too much longer.  Spring and happier times are right around the corner.

 

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