Living in Delaware I had many friends. I had many circles of friends actually. I had the Village from my church, my Neighborhood Peeps, Moms Club Pals, and Happy Hour Gang. Some of these circles overlapped and some did not. I was so lucky to have all the help support and love they gave me and continue to give.
Here in Tennessee my new circles are not yet defined. I have not gone to church yet. I have met some neighbors, but have not had my "Get to Know Your Neighbor Party". The other places I seem to spend time are Karate and Gymnastics. Gymnastics parents are friendly but not always there. They chat and share information but I am not sure how well I fit in. Things are different in Karate.
I have begun calling these women (and some men) my Karate Peeps. There is an atmosphere of friendliness and lack of pretension. The people are comfortable with who they are and what they do. One of my favorite people is the karate teacher's wife. She is often in the office chatting and laughing. People float in and out of the conversation. She and the others are a wealth of information on everything. They give you help and their opinions, but don't mind if you don't take their advice. I sometimes sense some are better friends or have known each other a long time, but I never feel left out. There is no sense of a "cool" click. Their talk and stories are bubbly and exciting. Here is the somewhat unusual part, they often involve guns.
It seems many people in Tennessee own guns. They are also not afraid to share this information with you. One of my karate peeps shared the story of sitting on her porch when some kids came by to toilet paper her house. She had an older daughter and it seems to be the "in" thing for the kids to do to each other. Her neighbor was sitting on his porch where he was not seen, he came off his porch waved his gun and those kids dropped the toilet paper and got back in their car and flew! She scooped up the TP and told her daughter to post on her facebook - Thanks for the toilet paper, times are tough! Some may find this story startling or disturbing. I must admit it is ok for me. I like my karate peep and like it or not she is going to talk about guns and be comfortable in her own skin.
Unfortunately, there are the not so funny stories involving guns I have read in the paper. The man who shot intruders in his home and killed them. The man who sent his daughter to be with his parents because he feared he could not protect her without his gun. (a protection order had been put out this gentleman so he had to surrender his weapon ) The mother who held a gun to a 22 year old mans temple (but did not shoot) when she found him with her 14 year old daughter.
I am much more aware of guns around here than in Delaware. I am not sure what to do with my Karate Peeps, gossip and guns. I feel comfortable around them but not necessarily their weapons. I guess I will do my best to keep talking, laughing and not making anybody mad, because you just never know who is packin heat!