I feel like right now, in this moment, is the tricky part of moving. The hardest work is over. We are reasonably settled in the house. If you walked in you'd think "Gosh, not much on your walls, Skerrib" but overall it looks & feels lived-in. His Highness is well-settled into school, learning and enjoying himself for the most part, except for the complaint that school is boring. I would expect no less from a five-year-old boy. We are meeting people, and I think I'm doing a particularly good job of reaching out socially, talking with people I meet, and even spontaneously walking over to hang out with the neighbors in their driveway (heavens!!). We've visited five churches, and while nothing has offended us terribly, neither has anything jumped out and said, "This is your new church home." It rarely does though, so that's OK.
The tricky part of moving, to me, is the element of time. We are doing healthy and good things to get established, but we can't manufacture that home-y feeling. I haven't lost my humors, which is huge, but I'm a little down at not knowing many people. Still, to me that's not something to be forced.
To me this is the nuts & bolts that make up life. I'm a little down now because it's still the beginning. I miss sitting with my next-door neighbor while our kids destroy the place. I miss walking with Roots through her Maynard neighborhood, and running across the street to my friend's house in Lompoc (though they are in Hawaii now, which if I were dropping in over there would be awesome). I miss our busy Phoenix neighborhood, running the bridle paths at 5:30 am, waving to neighbors out walking along the way. My frame of reference is all the places I've lived before; the memories of social structure I had in those places, and the remaining pieces I still have with me in the form of friends and acquaintances (hello, Facebook. I'm glad you're here).
So I take small, daily, healthy steps. I will keep chatting with the other moms at kindergarten drop-off. We will help our friends move this weekend. I will get back onto a good exercise plan, now that my (maybe) Lyme is being treated. And by God, I am determined that I will succeed in leaving the children home with Daddy and have two hours by myself one day. We may visit another church this week, or go back to the one whose regular pastor was on vacation when we were there. Or we might skip and take a day trip 'cuz of Columbus Day weekend (as the Cat Daddy said "Thank God he discovered some islands in the Caribbean"). A play date next week, and so on beyond that.
Eventually these little things will add up to deeper connections. We won't necessarily notice it in the moment, but we will begin to find our favorite places and people. We will begin to belong. It has happened every time. I have found God and friends in every place; I just have to remember that in this moment...