Source: I was a hairdresser in a beauty shop before I retired.
By hopeful from Salem, OR
I also lived on a farm in the country, so didn't have a neighbor next door or across the street close by, nor were there kids in the neighborhood for mine to play with.
The town did not have a welcome wagon, but the city hall told me the chamber could give me information. So, I headed to the Chamber. The Chamber told me they would be happy to give me info and a town packet if I "joined". Needless to say, I didn't join.
Since my children were involved in scouts, I called the scouting headquarters to get the names of some scout troops in our area. Turns out, there were scout troops for older girls, and for younger girls, but none for my girls' ages.My children had also been involved in 4H. So, I headed to the county extension office. Here is where I hit my jackpot. They set us up with 4H information, a county and city map, a phone directory and names, addresses and phone numbers of community people who ran businesses out of their homes. They were not in the directory; such as a woman who did custom sewing and mending, a lady who made soap, a mechanic and a farrier. I quickly learned that anytime I had a question, the county extension office could direct me where to go with a simple phone call.
Our 4H group however, didn't turn out to be a good fit for us. The meetings were all scheduled on Sundays, during the time we normally attend church. So, with another family, we started another 4H group and quickly had 40+ kids and their parents involved. Again, this proved to be a jackpot. I have met wonderful people this way, found a great home school co-op through this group, a book club, community choir, and other women who share some of my interests.
I also have met friends by shopping a little differently. This town only has 1 grocery store, and it is a chain (wow, no WalMart!). So, when possible, I shop from private persons who are selling items that I would normally buy, such as produce. Taking the local paper has been very informative. Here I find info to holiday parades, craft shows, children's events and more. I found out in the paper that a near neighbor cut hay, as we were looking for someone to cut our hay. I also found here a local retired tractor mechanic who fixed our tractor.
A few friends I found by wearing t shirts. Sounds odd, but one lady approached me because I was wearing a 4H shirt. She and her child are now a member of our club. Another time I was wearing a Republican shirt, and a lady approached me and asked if I was local. I told her I was, and she replied she hadn't seen me at any of the meetings, and handed me her card with a website on it.
Later I looked that up and found out that the Republican women in my county have a breakfast once a month, with a speaker, as a way to get to know each other. Needless to say, the speaker rarely is a politician. In fact, this month's speaker is showing us simple Christmas crafts to make.
It has taken me 5 years, but I can finally say I now know some of our town's people, and finally fit in.
By mom-from-missouri from NW Missouri