A Friend in Need
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

...is Desperate Indeed.

Our family moved to SC 6 months ago. Actually, 30 weeks ago - I got pregnant about 2 days before we arrived. In that time, I've met....

No one.

Well, I met my father-in-law, and his girlfriend. And I know my landlords. I would probably recognize my kid's teachers on the street. That's it!

It's a little strange here.

In Colorado, I had lots of friends, acquaintances, friends of friends. My 5 sisters and 2 brothers lived there also. My biggest problem was planning a get together, and fitting everyone in my house (there's 16 adults in my immediate family alone! Plus 14 children age 8 and under.)

Here, I'm missing that Southern Hospitality- which I've mentioned before. People have actually turn their backs on me if I am walking up the street. We live on the corner, and our next door neighbor came over once, right after we moved in. I've never seen him since (although, he's older and single - 6 little kids are probably intimidating for him). The kids have friends that they play with on our street, but their parents all work, and they are latch key kids. Occasionally I wave at their moms. That's as far as it goes. Empty houses as far as the eye can see.

I do not know a single other stay at home mother. My church is fairly small, and in the next town over. There are 8 children that attend there - 6 of them are mine. One mother of a 1 year old lives 30 miles west of church (I live 30 miles east of church) and the other mom works full time. I've been to the town church, which is closer, but don't usually attend there because there is a lot of singing (and I mean A LOT. Like 20 hymns throughout Mass. People spend the entire time in their hymnals and don't even crack their missals.) Not only do the deacons purify the sacred vessels, they chug the leftover wine and hosts first. (I know that went right over your heads if you're not Catholic. But, my readers with Roman tendencies will recognize this as A. Big. Deal.) Plus, the church that I do attend has the Latin Mass, is not in schism, and the priest is a retired psychologist who spent his life evaluating, teaching, and counseling people with mental illness. As you may have read, this is an issue my family deals with every day - and I know this is where God intends for us to be , especially as Mr R is at the age where most children begin receiving the sacraments. Mr P like him, too, because he let him go to the bathroom during confession when Mr P was nervous. The kid's only 7, and hasn't been in there that often.

We've gone to story time at the library and been the only ones there. If I take the little ones to the grocery store during the day, the other shoppers are all retired. There is one park in the entire town, and I've never seen anyone playing there. I dutifully went to PTO meetings and school plays. The other moms who aren't career women are just... not for me. They are the mothers with one child, who drive to the city to have their hair done and are, basically, ladies who lunch. I am a lady who makes lunch. From leftovers. Then decides whether to fold the laundry or take a nap. Sorry you've been living out of the laundry basket, honey!

I joined a homeschool group, but the kids there are older; also I'm not always...included? welcome? noticed? as I don't homeschool all of my children, just some of them. Not to mention, the leaders of the group are pastor's wives (different pastors at different churches, there must be some sort of coalition!) here in the Bible belt, and seem to have enough friends in their own church, but I'm welcome to stop by for services...

Usually, it's not too much of a problem. Husband dear is working a job that actually gives him weekends off, and he's home at a normal time every night. So he's home a lot, for once (after 4 months of living away from us, that's nice.) I still talk to my Colorado friends online, or by phone. Even if we talk less often, I still feel just as close. I'm not really lonely, as such.

There are a few times I really notice the hole that neighbors and local friends fill. My FIL's girlfriend works at a local Abbey, which is a tourist stop as well. The brothers support themselves in part by raising chickens- lots and lots of chickens, and selling the eggs to specialty shops. They are free-range chickens in a town with no health food store, so they go fast.
The monks hatched some new chicks. For the first couple of months, the chickens lay "beginner eggs" - too small to be sold. So they give them away. We gladly said we'd take some. Then, she showed up with two cases. A case of eggs holds 30 dozen. Now, I can make a carton eggs into quite a variety of dinners, but 720 eggs is a lot. We decided to give them away - took some to neighbors (who took the eggs, but still haven't ever talked to us). Husband gave some away at work. Finally, we put an ad on Freecycle.

So no one to give eggs to. No big deal. But there is also no one to help in an emergency. No one to ask to keep an eye out for our stolen bike. No one to find out the secret shopping place for good meat. No one to let me know that the town Christmas parade is a waste of time, but the Martin Luther King, Jr. activities are not to be missed.

No one to call in an emergency. Last Saturday, we were faced with the prospect of taking 6 small children with us to the hospital. I've been having blood sugar issues, blood pressure issues, and contraction issues and they all kind of came together after Miss E's party on Saturday. I normally contract every 5 minutes for several hours at a time. They might come and go, and pretty much they are just the Braxton Hicks variety that is all show and no dilation. I'm probably the only woman who gets the "turkey check" (you know, where they stick their hand up in there like they've got cornbread stuffing on Thanksgiving morning) at 24 weeks. By the time you get to #7, you just accept it. But my blood pressure was 150/90 and you couldn't see the bones in my legs due to swelling. Oh, it was 11 pm as well. And raining. Fortunately, the pressure went down after some time flat on my back (which really stinks with the contractions. Mine always hurt more if I'm on my back.) Heaven only knows what we'll do when the baby is actually born - although my little sister might come visit us the week before Easter and the baby is due around that time.

So, bloggy friends, keep me in your prayers that I'll meet some friends IRL.
posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/30/2007 06:54:00 AM | Permalink | |