Friday, May 6, 2016

Making New Friends


The last place I expected to be on a rainy April afternoon was at a rectangular, faux wood-grain  table, my butt firmly planted in a metal folding chair. I was staring chocolate caramel brownies and chocolate chip cookies as big as dinner plates in the eye, sipping Maxwell House coffee loaded with sugar. To make matters worse I was surrounded by piles of brand-new paperback books.

I had not planned on joining another book club, having ended the relationship with my previous one only a year ago. I loved the ladies in that group but I was tired of the hour long drive, the 7:30 p.m. start, and the icy, snow drifted highway in the winter time.


I had stumbled upon this small independent book shop a month earlier, after a lunch of ground turkey burgers with fresh sage mayo, blue corn chips, and perfectly mixed Arnold Palmer's, at the cafe next door. I knew the book shop was here, but had only been in once, a decade earlier. Over the past decade many book stores, large and small, have closed their doors, yet my love of the small indie book shop has only grown. I am delighted when I find one, and am only too happy to support them.

After a wander around the shop that day, I stepped up to the checkout counter with two more books I couldn't live without. One of the owners happened to be the one at the register. This was a  place that knew it's regular customers, since she asked me if I was new to the shop, I said I was. We got to chatting. About this time I saw the sign on the counter listing the books their book club was reading for the rest of the year. For some reason I felt compelled to ask about their book club. The owner said they had been meeting together for almost twenty years and it met on Wednesday nights. Another night book club did not sound appealing. Then she leaned closer to me and said "We have a brand new book club meeting for the first time next week Thursday afternoon. Afternoons, brand new, first meeting; I was hooked. I bought the book and went home to read it.


I was back the next Thursday, fully prepared to not like the group. They would probably all  know each other, me being the only out-of-towner. Despite all the confidence I have gained over the last four years through my photography and writing, those adolescent insecurities still lurk just below the surface. I also tend to be someone who imagines the worst case scenario.

As it turns out only two of the gals knew each other, more as acquaintances than as friends. Most of the ladies were newer to the area, being transplanted there by jobs or retirement. We were all looking to make new friends.


This rainy April afternoon is the second meeting of our group. We have decided to close the group to new people, each of us feeling we want to invest in each other's lives and keep the group small. The leader of our group said if she has new people interested in a book club, she will just start another one on a different afternoon. Sitting back nibbling on my chocolate chip cookie, drinking the Maxwell House coffee loaded with sugar, I knew I had made the right decision to join another book club.

19 comments:

  1. It sounds as if it's going to be a lovely book club!

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  2. Sounds wonderful Sarah! I love your writing and have missed it so much. I decided to get up 15 mins early today just to read and catch up. What are you guys reading?

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  3. I'm sure you'll enjoy this group and your reading together. Love the last rainy day picture!

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  4. a new club and new friends….sounds like a perfect combination!!!
    ps…i wouldn't have lasted with an hour drive, at night, for a book club either...

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  5. What a delightful way to make new friends. And keeping it small will allow you to really get to know the other women. It was meant to be. I am a faithful reader of your blog and have enjoyed your photos and now am looking forward to book recommendations. I love Sara Gruen.

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  6. Thrilled! I see you breaking out in the happy dance. Sounds like a perfectly cozy but anticipation kind of thing. You always paint such a good picture.

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  7. I loved reading this post. I could imagine the bookstore and walking through its stacks. We only have a Barnes and Noble where I live. I love the idea of an afternoon book club as I too sometimes don't like to travel at night in bad weather.Your club sounds wonderful. Wishing you many hours of reading, friendship and camaraderie.

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  8. Sounds wonderful, it is nice to try something new and great when it works!

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  9. Brings back memories of when I was in a book club...I loved it for about 5 years but at that time, my Dad got sick and needed a lot of attention and so I felt compelled to drop out. I also got tired of reading the recommended book each month when I had so little time to read anything. Your new book group sounds lovely and I like that it is an afternoon meeting...if I come across something like that I might be willing to try again. The cookies sounds delicious and your photo makes me want one...RIGHT NOW. Tea for me...no sugar please but a bit of cream is always nice.. it will be fun to see what you group is reading.

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    1. Oh, I loved the Little Paris Bookshop...

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  10. This sounds like a wonderful book club, Sarah, and I am glad that you found it.
    Happy Mother's Day to you!

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  11. Yay for you! That is awesome. I hope you share the titles you read too! I think we all struggle with those adolescent insecurities from time to time. It's great that you stepped out for a new adventure.

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  12. I just bought the little Paris bookshop. Hoping to read it soon. Loved the post

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  13. I just bought the little Paris bookshop. Hoping to read it soon. Loved the post

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  14. Cheers to you . . . and stepping out to something new . . .
    (I get those "squeamish feeling thingies" too.)
    I heard about The Little Paris Bookshop book on Friday . . . just . . .
    Happy Mother's Day Sarah . . .
    Your new book club/friends sounds wonderful . . .

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  15. I'd love to find a daytime book club like that - it sounds perfect. I must look around and see if I can find something here. I miss my old one, but many of the group just got too busy to keep it up. Children who weren't even conceived when we started are in high school now. Life does have a way of moving on!

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  16. Friends are hard to come by...I'm happy for you! This sounds like a place to be fed so to speak.

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  17. Just put a 'hold' at my library for The Little Paris Bookshop. After reading your post and the comments above it seems like one I should read. :) Finding a new book club at the perfect time with lovely ladies is like winning the lottery. Sounds like you found a winner.

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  18. Sounds like a fun new group. Not in any reading groups but would love to find a new one! lucky you!

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)