When we moved to Austin from the Panhandle, we envisioned a lot of change, expected a little weirdness, and then we embraced the challenge of setting off from the familiar to the unknown.
Against the backdrop of what we saw in those pictures online, we could easily insert mental images of our own selves, living our dreamy best life in the new city we were about to call home.
Making New Friends is Different
Wouldn’t it be something if it were as easy to make new friends as it is to find the best Chinese food?
People looking for friendship could offer their photo and a sampling of their character traits on a website, and then they could just meet up for coffee and make a lifelong match.
Hold it. That sounds a little like online dating, which I’ve heard is really not so fun.
But, let’s face it. Making all-new-friends in an all-new-place can feel a little similar.
We Made Some Good Ones
Finding new friends can be a pretty daunting task for the new kids on the block. You can’t really rush the process, and yet, no one wants to die on the vine for lack of the nourishment brought into our lives by friends.
Aristotle said: Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.
It just takes time to make deep friendships when you move.
However, once our lives began to weave into the existing fabric of all things Austin, we were blessed to find the nicest people with whom we could be friends. What made it so much easier was that most every Austinite we met was more than willing to share. They loved educating us about their favorite local musicians, their best foodie facts and their top tips for hill country places to experience, like Luckenbach.
One couple was even willing to share their b-o-a-t.
They Gave Me a Birthday to Remember
If you know me, you know that I love water. Love it, love it, love it.
So, to be invited to celebrate my birthday on Lake Travis aboard a luxurious cabin cruiser was an incredible gift.
It was humbling, actually. I felt like the Queen of England. What would you like now, dear birthday girl, they would ask. Do you need a drink? How about a bite of a brownie? Oh, no, don’t move a muscle, they would instruct. Your wish is our every command today, you royal birthday girl, you.
Without Going Overboard
Our friends who own this little piece of nautical heaven are natural hosts, by land or by sea. Making people feel special is just in their blood, and while every detail is thought completely through, they pull off every gathering without going overboard on the preparations.
There was music, sunscreen, lots of food, and a champagne toast for the birthday girl.
We sailed all around the lake slowly, waving to the other boats as we went.
Every now and then, we anchored into a quiet cove, jumping from the stern for a cool dip into the lake’s clear water, then climbed back up the ladder and sunned our relaxed selves in the cushiony white bean bags atop the bow.
Time to Dock
After the long and wonderful day, night was all too quickly on its way, and the ol’ salty cap’n of the birthday ship was forced to start steering us landward. We all had to get back to our real lives in just a few hours anyway.
But, oh, what a day this had been.
Anchors Aweigh, My Friends
Now that we’ve moved to Dallas, we’ll be making all-new-friends in another all-new-place.
Like bait on the end of a line, we’ll be bobbing around in some unfamiliar waters for a while. But soon, some new friends will swim up alongside, and we’ll pull up the anchor for another slow voyage into the deep waters of friendship.
When that happens, I’ll be ready.
To to winds of change, I will throw out my arms and cry: Anchors Aweigh, my friends!
Your devoted encourager,
PS: Have you lived where you are for a long time? Can you offer the gift of hospitality to someone new? Has someone done for you what our friends did for us? Share in the comments!
PSS: Here are links to my other Top 10 Experiences of 2018.