Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Making Friends

One of the difficult things about moving to a new city or state or region is making friends. It's part of what I call, creating a life in my new surroundings. I've had to do this many times in my adult life (never as a kid since we lived in the same house all of my life, which I like!) Creating-a-life is easiest when there is something built-in, like college or grad school. It was even easy in Chicago when there was a whole "class" of 15 of us transplants who were recruited to work for the ad agency and move to Chicago. Since we were all new to town, we all hung out and socialized together...at first as a group of 15 and soon we broke off into our own little mini-groups (I just went to a wedding in Austin for a member of my mini-group.) Experiencing difficulties together (like moving to the big city of Chicago and knowing nobody) often builds bonds between people.

But, we don't have anything like that here. in Smalltown Midwest. I'm not in school with a bunch of class mates who are all trying to graduate on time (or just merely passing a tough class). I'm not a part of transplants at my job, most are from the area or at least the state and all know other people. So, that leaves neighbors and parents of our kids' friends.

This weekend was a windfall on the creating-a-life front.

On Friday night, the Rose's, neighbors of ours, invited us over for dinner. We had them over a month ago for dessert and games and they reciprocated with dinner. It was fun. Mrs. Rose made a delicious spinach casserole that I'll be making soon and our boys and their boys had fun playing together.

Last night, we had friends from R's hockey team over. The H's have one boy who is R's age. M and I really like Mr and Mrs H a lot. Their family own three local grocery stores and Mr. H is the wine and produce buyer. We had a lovely time sitting out on the deck while the boys ran and played in the back yard -- just the kind of scene that I imagined when we bought the house. I marinated and M grilled some steak, chicken, and asparagas. It was all good, but the chicken was amazing. I don't know if it was the tasten chipolte marinade or the great grilling, but it was like butter -- smooth and delicious.

When Mr H called to see what to bring, I quickly said a bottle of wine. I'm no fool, he's a wine buyer for goodness sakes! He brought the tastiest 1997 Sirah from Australia (sorry AJ!). It was YUMMY! He also brought a free sample given to him that is the biggest seller in Sam's Wine Warehouse in Chicago. From the looks of M's and Mr H's faces, I could tell that it wasn't so great, so I didn't partake -- I didn't want to ruin the delicious taste of the Sirah. We also opened a third bottle and finished it off. Now, Mrs H only had one glass of wine because she was the designated driver in their family. So the three of us had three bottles! I was feeling juusssttt fiinnee by the time the night was over :>

It was a nice ending to a great three day weekend and a great jump on creating-a-life.


GreatAuntieP said...

Sounds like a really nice weekend. I would love the recipes for the spinach cassarole and the chicken. I think having kids the same age and in the same activities is a great common bond for making friends. Imagine R learning to play chess! Would love to see pictures of your back yard and those window flower boxes(is that what you call them?)

CaliforniaGrammy said...

That's exactly how to make friends - - - just think of the friends your parents had - - - most were the parents of the kids you and your sister hung out with i.e.Rileys, Judsons, Christiansons, Davis, Cranstons . . . and so on and so on. Well . . . at least they had kids your ages and you mostly got along with most of them! Sounds like a fun time - good food, good wine (2 out of 3 ain't bad!) and good friends.