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Help! How to meet people in rural areas???

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
We moved in to a very rural area the day b4 Thanksgiving. We have moved a lot, but this area is by far the most difficult to meet people and make friends. There is a knitting group at the library which I plan to start going to - which I hear is all "old" ladies. There is a storytime at the library 20 min away on Mondays. Other than that, there isn't much. All the local homeschool groups are either teens (I have a 3 yr old) or just hardly ever do anything because they are bz with their own lives. It is just crazy how hard it is to get to know people here! Someone I met even put an add in the paper when they moved and met a few people that way - but they still don't have much social network.

any ideas???
post #2 of 18
I wish I knew!

People around here meet through church. It so happens that I'm not Christian, so in not going to church, I've not become one of the community :P We have a monthly community paper that advertises get-together things - card parties (no thanks), dances (yeesh, country music, no thanks) and suppers: pancake, ham and beans, fish fry, corn boil etc... (at church, again, no thanks)

Looks like I'm holing myself up, waiting for people to come knocking on my door!

Now if someone held a dirty hippie heathen club, I'd be so there....
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
well, church isn't the answer for many of us who are Christian too. I get someone over to my house threatening to spank their 2 yr old becasue he can't hold still and eat his lunch when he's in a strange place and is tired.
post #4 of 18
.... you type 'mothering.com/discussions' and go to the Country Living/Off Grid sub-forum

Seriously though, I have met a few friends near me through MDC.

Oh, and I'd be happy to host the Southwest Virginia chapter of the DHHC!
post #5 of 18
Heh, yeah, it is rough. Assuming you don't goto church (and no, we don't either) its very hard to meet people. I grew up here, but I didn't go to school... and didn't hang out with the local homeschoolrs (cuz' they had a paper that you had to sign saying you believed X, Y, and Z... and we didn't so we got booted out. Despite the fact that my mom *STARTED* the group a few years before... yeesh!), so... yeah. Its rough.
post #6 of 18
Sorry for crashing the thread (I always lurk bc I would love to one day live off grid).

I sooooo wish I could find a chapter of the DHHC in my area!
post #7 of 18
Oh Mama, it can be so hard to meet people when you live out in the sticks! I've had the same problem, especially when we were homeschooling. I would even advertise on craigslist for wanting playdates, but didn't get any responses. Are there any co-op type preschools that you and dd could go to? It sounds like you are into homeschooling, but maybe you could join just to meet up with some folks, then leave once you get to know some other families?
post #8 of 18
Dirty Hippie Heathen Club.

Dirty Hippie Heathen Club.

Dirty Hippie Heathen Club.

That has a great ring to it, don't you think?
post #9 of 18
seriously... make some friends with the more "normal-mainstrain" folks and they will get to telling you about the "weirdos like you" in the area, then you can seek those folks out.

not so serious... but hey it might not hurt... look in the local phone book for names where people call themselves lightheart or something similar

what type of group of friends are you looking for? Is there a mail order food co-op around? are there any local springs where folks go to get their water? a recycling center? a thrift store? a teeny tiny section of organic foods in the grocery store? maybe start hanging out there... well don't bring a picnic to the grocery store, but if your there start talking and maybe you will find some friends.

What about you starting/advertizing a local kids under 5 playgroup...
post #10 of 18
I've moved to south central, Va about 6 months ago...Its hard in the rural areas. We went to story time and we were the only ones there. I wish I had good advise, but I need some myself.
post #11 of 18
I grew up outside of a pretty small town. Here are my suggestions. Obviously church which has been mentioned alot. Classes at the YMCA or library, try one of those church dinners you can find really wonderful people even if you're not christian (just be careful of denomination some are more evangelizing than others), La Leche League, 4-H fair or club (they do have stuff for three year olds), walk around your road and talk to people when you see them at their mailbox. You can meet an amazing number of people at mailboxes, especially if you have a dog. Good luck!
post #12 of 18
CHurch dinners are often about meeting people. Tyr one. THey're fun. (I'm not a church person either)

Volunteer. At teh library, or the Y. Somewhere poeple need to get to with the kids. Take your's with you.

Put a note at teh local store. "Hippie-type mama looking for new friends. Must be into GD, " etc. Personally, I'd leave out teh dirty hippie part. Most peole want CLEAN people around their kids.

Also, volunteering for govt projects and boards around town works. You can help with stuff you believe in! I was on a committee to look for a better highschool for out towns kids.

And be open-minded. Just because someone goes to church, or LOOKS really straight, doesn't mean they are. (I look realllllly straight. THe 'hippie' groups here ignore me!)
post #13 of 18
MDC is a great way!

Chck out your tribal area or even add a message in your siggy that you're looking for friends in XYZ area and to PM you.
post #14 of 18
I was thinking of you today. I went to a seminar at a local nursery. there were a number of adults there alone, trying to make a little conversatoin with each other. Not male/female stuff, just adults who share an interest.

Maybe the old advice of joining groups that share your interestes is best.

Oh, and try teh contra dances! They aren't at all what you'd ex[ect. Here, anyway, kids are welcome THe first /2 hour is lessons for those who've never done it before. It's energetic, social, friendly and fun. Square dancing is much the same! Couples or singels are usually welcome.

Getting involved . I volunteered for the library when I first moved here, and the local paper, the school. ( I always took the little ones with me.) I worked on comittees to put together cookbooks as fundraisers, sold soda, Keepers(!), hats, etc. I also worked at the local store. That and the libraryt were teh top places for meeting people.
post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by Attached Mama View Post
well, church isn't the answer for many of us who are Christian too. I get someone over to my house threatening to spank their 2 yr old becasue he can't hold still and eat his lunch when he's in a strange place and is tired.
See, now, I'm usually the one who gets blamed for being judgmental and closed minded when it comes to christians!

My village has a population of ~700, although it services a larger area. We don't have many things (other than churches, strangely there are many of those): an elementary school, a high school, a small community library located IN the high school, a post office, a few small stores(limited wares) and two restaurants. For anything else, we have to go into town. I really only see people when I go to my daughter's school or the post office. I have one close neighbour (a retired couple, very nice), and two slightly farther away (too far away to safely walk).

When I get my driver's license, the plan is to get out and about a bit more and meet the locals. I'd like to join 4H, maybe start a DHHC : First, I must scheme a way to get some members without peaking the interest of those would stone my house if they knew it housed such ungodly people.

Country music sets my teeth, as much "fun" as these dances may be, I just would not enjoy myself.
post #16 of 18
MOMS Club. They're everywhere! I met some nice moms there.
My favorite is my LLL group though...
post #17 of 18
LLL meetings?
Any local farmer's market or health food store?
I live rurally and we have a health food co-op.

How old are your kids? I'm thinking baby music classes or other class offered for mama and babies (if that applies to you!)

Library- do you have a story time or could you start one??? Or a book club for older kids? for adults??
post #18 of 18
In my rural area, I've met people through the library and the librarians. The librarians know everyone in town! Once you are on good terms with them, you could even ask, "Do you know anyone with kids my age? who knits? who gardens? who keeps bees? etc."

I also took a class that I was interested in and met folks - beekeeping (through the extension office), pottery, permaculture (local community college). I drop by the nearest good coffee place and art place (13 miles away!). When I do see anyone remotely interesting to me - because of their kids ages, because they homeschool (around with kids in the middle of the day), because of the shoes they are wearing, I talk to them and usually get their phone number.

Also, spend time in your front yard and try to meet your neighbors when you are walking around. I've even thought about having a neighborhood party, just so I could meet some.

I've had a really hard time finding "my" people in the country. I've also met some really wonderful folks who are not "my" type. Don't dismiss everyone. Making friends with one or two locals will open up other opportunities hopefully.
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