When we bought our first house, we picked Middlebury as the perfect compromise between my husband’s secret desire to be a gentleman farmer and my secret desire to live in a suburban oasis in the city.
We also had more practical concerns like easy commutes to our jobs and great schools to support the family we were planning. As our realtor helped us find our new home, she kept reminding us of the old adage: "new house, new baby."
She’ll never know how right she was.
I learned I was pregnant shortly after we moved in, while we were still up to our elbows in paint cans and packed boxes. I discovered the joys (and challenges) of home ownership and pregnancy simultaneously.
Needless to say, our first three years in Middlebury disappeared in a blur of life changes. Once I returned from the land of the sleep deprived, a bleary eyed confusing place, I decided it was time I start exploring this town I call home and meeting my neighbors.
I’m no social butterfly, I’m an introvert and yet I stand in front of classrooms of new hires and rooms of people to facilitate meetings and teach for a living. Go figure. You’ll learn I’m a mass of contradictions, but I digress.
A lifetime of moving gave me a love of exploring and I was determined to get started. Not to mention, I now had “mom responsibilities” to get to know people in town and start building lifelong relationships so that my new baby can live a healthy and well adjusted life in Mayberry RFD — I mean, Middlebury, CT. Yeah, yeah, yeah, welcome to the self imposed responsibilities and expectations of a newly minted lunatic aka first time parent — I’m sure some of you recognize the symptoms.
So with the yoke of responsibility and sheer curiosity, we took our daughter to the Halloween Door Walk at the Shepardson Center. It was there I first stumbled, literally, into the arms of the Middlebury Junior Women’s Club (MJWC).
If you’ve never been to the Halloween Door Walk, it’s a fun event where the lower level of Shepardson is well decorated for Halloween and each doorway is “staffed” by one of the groups in town who hand out candy to the kids as they trick or treat their way through the building. It’s also a bit dim and I’m a bit klutzy. ‘Nuff said.
As it turns out my neighbor was a member and she handed me a flyer about the club and encouraged me to come to a meeting to check out the group. I did, I stayed and now I’m part of the leadership team. Seems they forgave my klutzy ways.
Since joining the group, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some fantastic women and participating in many events for our community. It’s one of the things I love about this group — I get to hang out with great women AND do great community work.
It’s been a few years since that first chance encounter in the dim halls of Shepardson and though I’ve mellowed my expectations of my “mom responsibilities," I’m still crazy busy. I’m grateful to the women of this club who welcomed me, befriended me and helped me find the perfect way to be able to contribute to our hometown in small and meaningful ways and still keep a semblance of in balance the rest of my life. Then they trusted me to help lead the club for the next several years.
If you don’t know much about the Middlebury Junior Women’s club, you can learn more by liking us on Facebook at Middlebury Junior Women’s Club. We’re always looking for new members and the commitment is as small or large as you’d like to make it. We meet monthly in starting in the fall with summers off!
Next time, I’ll share a bit about our 2011-12 year and events but for a teaser — did I mention our Facebook page? There are pictures… *she says like she’s dangling a carrot*