I met a new friend today, who lives a half mile down the road from us. Never mind that this new friend, and her husband and two daughters, have been here since we came here over three years ago, and we have met on several occasions. I just didn't realize until today that the potential for friendship existed.
Maybe I was being too judgmental, or maybe it was the inner hermit in me that wasn't keen on frequent contact. I didn't know what to think the first couple of times we met. Our kids didn't hit it off right away, a year or two ago, which cancelled the potential for playdates. The Bush/Cheney campaign sign at the end of their driveway certainly didn't help things, neither did the chop job forestry they had done on their land last year. Maybe I was making excuses why we could not find common ground. And for that I apologize.
Today the kids wanted to bring some eggs to Dick and Patty, but they weren't home, so The Hermit took them to the next house down the road. When they came back, the kids were excited; they had been invited to come over and go sledding and snowmobiling in the afternoon. Oh great, I thought at first. My weekends are precious, and I wanted to get some music practicing done. But don't I do that every weekend, and don't the kids just sit in here playing video games too much anyway? So we bundled up and headed over there after lunch. We ended up staying until after dark. The kids went sledding (their land is not flat like ours) and B took them riding in the sled behind the snowmobile on the trails they have through their 80 acres.
H and I ended up talking a lot. Mr. Attitude and their younger daughter are in the same preschool class, and it turns out they are best friends there. Their house is warm and cozy, with enough room for the kids to play when they came inside. We started out with tea, then graduated to spiked eggnog, then rum & Coke. It was hard to finally be the one to say we had to go home. I invited them over for ice skating when I get the snow cleared off the pond.
I realized something today. We are all reaching out, crying out for companionship. It can be tough sometimes out here in the country. Here we are outsiders; we don't have the privilege of having grown up here and having family ties. We are just "those new people that moved up from the city". B and H and daughters don't have friends with kids in the area; it was a treat for their daughters to have other kids over. It was a treat for my kids, to enjoy some time outdoors and play with other kids indoors. And it was a treat for me, to have some adult talk with a fellow mother.
I now have two friends who live within a mile of me. Not bad for living way out there in the country.