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Eating blueberries with chopsticks Hot Conversation

Hi,

I have been a member since last fall but mostly I’ve been lurking and reading. I would now like to join, the Vibrant Women who occupy this site, in conversation.

Wondering about my title? It is just something that I have recently liked to do. When the sun is bright and warm on my patio, I carry my dish of frozen blueberries,cheese, strawberries and beer to my little table. And with the chopsticks I eat blueberries one at a time and savor the flavor. I find it quite relaxing and calming. Of course I eat everything slowly, enjoying each mouthful of food. I find that my own company is best for this ritual. And I find that most people eat too fast, gulp their drinks, napkin off their lips and rush forward into the day too eagerly without even a short-lived glance or moment as to what that day holds at that very moment before them.

 l like to garden, walk, write and paint, all in my own company, and I enjoy my own company very much. But lately I have been hankering for other company. Friendship of all things! I am such a loner but there are times I would love to have a couple or three or four good friends to enjoy my patio, food, and yes, rich conversation. Live, laugh and to heck with the world. But finding such friends has always eluded me. So Vibrant Nation has become for me a chance to connect to women my age who always seem to have lots to say and great advice most of the time. My questions to y’all would be:

  • How do you spend your most happy times?
  • And how many loners like me are out there?
  • Last question: How does one go about making friends when everyone around seems to have their own circle and you seem to be the “outsider”?

Posted in family & relationships, home & garden.

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add your responses

32 Responses

  1. Lucy9444 Lucy9444 says

    My most content time is also spent on my patio in the sunshine with a glass of tea or wine and a good book.  Just me and the birds!  I totally understand where you’re coming from.  I also tend to be a loner….enjoy company with myself the most!  But I find that working outside the home around a bunch of good people helps me to form relationships.

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    • CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

      Before my retirement I was the second oldest person at my workplace, some were as young as 20 so they had their own groups and friendships. Not that I didn’t get along great with all of them, but I am talking outside work hours. I have moved so many times in my lifetime that I never stayed long enough to make strong friends. It is just now that I am starting to realize how nice it might be to have a friend or two. Volunteering might be the answer for me, I am seriously considering building houses at Habitat.

      I have just about given up relationships with men. I seem to be too independent for most of them and I like my time alone, which most men don’t seem to understand or want to incorporate into a relationship. So like you, it’s me and the birds. Could be worse, I am not complaining. I am healthy, lots of energy and just became a grandmother for the first time and probably the only time. It’s an awesome thing, didn’t know I could fall in love so easily. Alas they are not living near me.

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  2. watermusic watermusic says

    I wouldn’t call myself a loner but I certainly like my solitude and try to find a balance between the company of others and my own. I’ve been trying to find that balance between intimacy and community and solitude for as a long as I can remember.  My most happy times are spent in the early mornings sitting on my couch looking out the window with a cuppa before the day begins.  It does seem harder to make friends in part because the interesting people have full lives and are busy.

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  3. Generic Image Ladysmith says

    i love that picture – sitting in the warmth of your patio and eating blueberries with chopsticks!!  i would love to come visit you – I live on Vancouver Island, B.C. – where are you?  I do enjoy my own company – have gone to many concerts by myself, walked, visited museums, art galleries, etc. – haven’t really been able to find a female friend who likes to do the same things I do.  I have met a new man (4 years now) who is great to be around – he will go to many places with me.  He is a golfer, and we know what that means – time by myself.  so i walk the dog, cook, explore thrift stores.  If it’s a golf course somewhere away from home, it gives me the chance to wander and do and see what I want to see.  Works for both of us.  After reading about Meetup.com on this website I have joined a group near me – and went to my first Meetup last week.  7 of us at dinner – ages 25 – 51 – interesting night.  plan to go to more meetups.  I was never one to have loads of friends – when I was younger, and lived in Ireland, I had a couple of good friends – that I do still see when I return for a visit.  It’s not easy to meet people.  Good luck.

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    • CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

      Hi Ladysmith,

      I never heard of meetup.com before maybe I will look it up. It sounds like you lke to do a lot of things similar to me. I’m an artist so of course I love art galleries, and I don’t have a problem going to a movie or anywhere by myself. I rather enjoy shopping alone instead of with another. I can concentrate better on what I want to buy and I rarely shop just to look unless I have a purpose behind it. 

      I live in Nova Scotia but I love Vancouver Island. I love Victoria. I am English so you can see why. I love the pubs there as well. Good luck with your “new man” I love how you refer to him as that after four years.

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      • Generic Image Ladysmith says

        I am longing to visit Nova Scotia – we went to Newfoundland a couple of years ago all because of a clue in a crossword “what is the largest island off Newfoundland – the answer is Fogo Island” – I checked it out online and saw how beautiful it is, as is all of NFLD.  So from there it just worked out – Air Canada had a 50% sale, I managed to get time off work, and the biggest I was able to talk my man into taking time off work (he loves to work, is a truck driver, and at the age of 60 has no plans to retire!).  It was fantastic.  I have since been in touch with the lady who does the crosswords “North of 49″ – with lots of Canadian content. She liked my reasoning for visiting NFLD.  We live in such a beautiful country – and I am seeing more of B.C. because of living with someone who knows most of it.  My next place to visit (I hope, this summer) is Kaslo area in the Kootenays.  Yes, do check out Meetup – you can indicate which types of groups you are interested in.  Always worth a shot. 

        Both my daughters live in Victoria – so I head down there quite often.  Next Tuesday is my 52nd birthday so we will be trying out a Tibetan restaurant that I read about. 

         

        Well, looks like a gorgeous day here today – after driving home from work yesterday in rain/slushy snow.  Last Friday we were on the ferry to Horseshoe Bay in W. Van, in a fierce windstorm – I was so frightened.  They just kept telling everyone to stay seated – it was wild!!  Off to work for a few hours, then hair cut and the dentist!  Have a good weekend.

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  4. Generic Image moongoddess says

    Hi CarolMarlene,

    I love the sun.  Like a cat, I bask in it on my glider while reading a book, listening to the sounds of nature and feeling the breeze. Drinking something cold or something hot.  Depends.

    Don’t know how many.  Count me in though.

    I’m very much the “outsider” looking in.  My choice.  My freedom,  My terms and maybe my loss.

    I look forward to reading your posts.  What kind of writing do you do?

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    • Flower Bear Flower Bear says

      Hi CarolMarlene,

      Like you, I have been mostly just a reader here although I have responded to comments twice. Also like you, I am a loner who enjoys curling up with a book on my porch with a cat on my lap and an iced latte or chi at my elbow. I also like shopping alone so I can mull over my purchase, and museums as well. I cherish my alone time when I can get it (one daughter and three grandkids live within walking distance)but do not enjoy it where I am living now as much as I did when I lived about a half hour north of here in a little village with a view of the river from the window over my desk, and my garden, and quiet village life. Finances forced me to move closer to where the jobs are and I am in an apartment that isn’t bad except for where it is. I feel cut off from nature and all the things I love the most. The funny thing is that after 7 years down here I lost my job due to a company merger and had to take one at much less pay.I will soon be 61 and with the job situation as it is, I am lucky to have this one even though I dread going there every day (it’s one of those places that sucks the life out of you) …

      …but I digress. A few years ago I was feeling lonely and hadn’t been able to find any “girlfriends” to have fun with. I joined one of Oprah’s online book clubs and a few of us starting e-mailing and calling each other – we live on opposite sides of the country (2 in California, 1 in Florida, 1 in North Caroline and me in upstate New York). We have had the chance to meet twice and we still keep in touch. I consider these women my best friends. I think the reason this worked out so well for me is that they got to know the real “me” before they met me through my posts about books, and kids, and husbands (or lack of), etc. I have a real problem with people feeling sorry for me because I don’t make alot of money, can’t afford to replace my old car, or travel, or got out alot, and I live very simply which is fine with me, but other women seem to think I need pity and taking care of. I always need a ride to get anywhere or do anything. So I can’t seem to hook up with anyone locally to go to the movies with, or have dinner with, or just hang out. I’m not feeling sorry for myself and I do get out occassionally, but mostly my friendships are online. Probably not the healthiest way to live from an emotional standpoint. What do you all think? I’d really appreciate your thoughts.

       

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      • CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

        Hi Flower Bear,

        I know what you mean about living away from nature. I have my own home but I just bought it a couple of years ago and it is tiny. I wish it was a bit bigger for company but like you, financially I can’t add on. Before I bought I rented a beutiful little house (bigger than mine) it was like a doll house and was very private. I was working then. There were fields to roam in, a pond with ducks, and horses. These belonged to people who I rented from.

        Anyway, I miss the sereniy of that place, but I had to move on, it was a financial decision that I discovered I could take out a mortgage cheaper than rent a house. I love my house but I have neighbors with kids and can’t afford a fence. I have quite a bit of land so it would be quite expensive to put any kind of privacy fence around it. My neighbors are great, don’t get me wrong, but I just miss privacy. I have a small privacy fence around my patio so that is the best I can do for now. But I know what you mean about missing nature.

        I guess having friend online is better than no friends. And I find that the ladies here are very supportive. They’ve lived through most of it and can relate. I have a good car and can go whenever I want, but I usually don’t a lot of stuff alone. What I want is friends that I can invite to my home and be invited to theirs to just chill. Enjoy music and easy talk and relax together. Living simple is nothing to be pitied over. I live simply as well and I like it. I don’t want or need fancy stuff. Material things never did it for me and never will. I don’t care who has more than me because I have enough. Just a few friends would be a nice addition. I wish you luck in finding someone close to go to dinner or a movie with. You never know they could be right around the corner.

        I

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    • CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

      I love the sun as well, and I love cats, ha ha. Although now I don’t have any pets. When I had a dog it was wonderful going for walks. I have tried to find someone interested in me dog walking but so far no luck. I would have a pet but I like to take off and travel and that is not good when you have no family or friends to look after your pets so I will stay petless I guess. It is true that living on one’s own terms sometimes makes one an outsider. For the last couple of years I had been involved with a gentleman but I found he demanded too much of my time. And didn’t really like my terms for the relationship. So he has spent this winter in Arizona alone and although I did think about  joining him there, I decided against it and he was not at all happy about that, so looks like we are over. A bit of a relief to me as now I a free again.

      I write everything. I have many novels in different stages, about ten or so completed. They’ve made their rounds and some of them almost found homes, then I gave up on them. I am shopping one now though and have been working on it all winter. It is an autobiographical novel and I do believe they are a bit hard to place. I haven’t much hope for it. I have also in the past been a freelance writer and a commercial writer. Edited and produced a small paper at one point. It was all fun and rewarding at the time. I say if we have to keep being outsiders to stay sane and be true to ourselves then let it be. My freedom is more important to me than being with another just for company. I do long though for that special someone who I would feel totally comfortable with and never feel like he was infringing upon my personal space.

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  5. Generic Image debanne says

    Hi All,

    I love my alone time. Sitting in the sun, reading a great book with a good glass of wine. But I also need my friends.

    I belong to New Neighbors League, it’s a fun group of ladies all around the same age. Through this league, there are smaller group, like book club, mah jongg, canasta, walking, golfing. you get the picture. Then once a month we all join up for a morning coffee at a members house, &  once a month luncheon. With all the activities that go on with this group, my alone time became time I treasure.

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    • CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

      You know…where I live there is just not that much going on. It is rural thinking and most people have lived here forever, had families and same friends. In reading your recommendations I am thinking maybe I need to start something. That way I would be in control and not out of my comfort zone and maybe there are people nearby who feel like me and have no where to go. You would think I would enjoy book clubs but I really don’t. I have belonged to writers’ groups and I was just bored. I guess i am a real hermit. But then again if I were truly a hermit I wouldn’t be even thinking remotely about friends, would I? Even when I go for walks, which I love, I would rather be alone than walking with someone else. I can enjoy the walk and nature when I am alone, when you are walking with someone you tend to talk and that is a distraction from the walk in my opinion.

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      • Flower Bear Flower Bear says

        A few years ago I started a Red Hat chapter in my area with the same idea. Next thing I know I am the club chauffer because I was the only one with a car (at that time) and all they wanted to do was get dressed up and go out or travel. My place was too small to host anything but I was willing to help anyone who did. It got so it became more of a burden than a chance to make friends and have fun. It’s the same with writing groups unless you have a really good facilitator. Sometimes I think online is safer except it gets a bit lonely at times.

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  6. Cara - VN Editor Cara - VN Editor says

    Hi CarolMarlene. A few other conversations in which members have shared advice on this topic.

    I hope these help!

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  7. CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

    Well, after reading all these exceptional replies and other threads as well on VN, I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of woman looking for friends, same as me. And I have come to the conclusion that I am not crazy, a hermit or an outsider, I am just a woman like all these other women. Through time and life decisions I ended up where I am now. I am not in a bad place, I really enjoy living alone and I know that if I want friends I need to put out the vibes and get off my patio. So thanks to all who contributed help, advice and their life experiences.

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    • Generic Image debanne says

      Good luck with finding that special friendship.

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    • Flower Bear Flower Bear says

      Thought I would share this with you while it is fresh in my mind. Yesterday we (my daughter, grandkids and I) took a drive back to that little village I was telling you about. It was their annual Maple Festival which has been going on for over 30 years. I can remember that when I lived there and the winter seemed like it was there to stay, I would wake up one morning and see a pail nailed to the trees outside my house – actually, I had the whole second floor of a big, old house and free reign of the gardens outside). Anyway, when I saw the pails I knew that spring was finally just around the corner. I would watch them come by and empty the pails every day. Then the Sugar Shack across the river, which I could see from my window, would fire up and there would be 24 hour shifts cooking the sap and making syrup. Finally,  on the first weekend after Easter, the town would throw open its doors to the world and people would come from all over for pancakes with real maple syrup, maple candy, cookies, cream and whatever else they could think of. There are vendors of crafts, art, organic products, handmade clothes, etch. There would be music, a book sale (my favorite) pony rides and wagon rides for the kids, just a wonderful day. We were there from early morning until late afternoon yesterday on a beautiful sunny day. There were times when I just sat on a bench and breathed it all in – my town, my home. I saw old friends, and felt totally and utterly happy. My oldest granddaughter, who is 16, used to spend alot of time with me there when she was small. We gardened together, took picnics to the river, communed with nature, and made some wonderful memories together. Yesterday she looked around at the changes (because change is inevitable, right?) and was especially sad over the spot where we used to picnic because her favorite tree had fallen to age and floods. I pointed to some shoots coming up from the dead trunk and told her, “look, there are her children. She lives on in them just like our memories will live on in you and  your children. ” You see, we think of the whole village as our friends, every last stick and stone. Maybe that is my real problem. I am trying to re-create that village, those feelings, where I am now which I know is not possible. Trying to do so is just creating my own suffering as the Buddhists would suggest. All I know is that maybe I just have to let the memories live on in my granddaughter and now teach her how to make her own. Maybe in doing so for her I can teach myself as well.

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      • CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

        What a lovely story, thank you for sharing it. I can just see that maple sugar camp…and the steam rising toward the blue sky, then followed by all the activities, the little ones that have never tasted maple products before, etc. And your grandaughter remembering you and her there, how wonderful, what a special memory.

        I agree with you that maybe sometimes we just want to go back, back in time where things seemed peaceful and simple. I, too, might be experiencing some of that. Days long ago when family was all around. Children, now grown, were small and running in groups and giggling, no worries, no problems. Good food and companionship, thinking it would never end. But end it did. Some are no longer alive, most are old or grown with their own families and burdens and responsibilities. I have watched it all, seen it all come to be, I feel like the old woman on the mountain looking down on the past. But I don’t grieve, I just remember, and with remembering I realize that we are lucky to have such good memories, such good times to relive.

        And you, my friend, relived some of the past by revisiting. You saw changes but you also saw bits of the past. I am glad you enjoyed the day and came away feeling happy about the whole thing. Sometimes parts of my family still get together and when we do, I enjoy it so much, it is like old long, lost times. Unfortunately, time and space have separated so many of us, it is hard to get together anymore. So I guess the thing is to enjoy what we can, remember our past with a sense of peace and happiness, and go on. I am at a new stage now.I have a grandchild, my first and probably only one. I hope someday I live long enough to make special memories with him. I look forward to it although I don’t live that near. There are always new paths, new adventures, we just have to be ready to “jump in the car” and drive at a moments notice. Be as spontaneous as we can. I love VN, so many lovely women here, with so many beautiful stories. Cheers to all!

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      • Flower Bear Flower Bear says

        Here is a bit of advice from a grandmother of 5. My two oldest grandsons live some distance away, not terribly far but far enough that I only get to see them once of twice a year. Now that they are at the ripe old ages of 10 and 8, they have a busier social schedule than I ever did (or do now). Anyway, when they were small, just babies, I would call them up and my daughter would put the phone by their ears, and I would tell them, “this is your Grammy and I love you so much. You are my beautiful boy.” For the first few months of his life, my oldest grandson thought Grammy was a voice on the phone. Still, I called often, saw him when I could, and sent pictures and tapes. Even though his is not nearby, we talk to each other once a week by phone and he shares all of his news with me. It’s not the same as giving him a great, big Grammy hug, but he’s still my beautiful boy, as is his brother. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it is never too early to start making memories with the grandkids even if you are only a voice on the phone, as long as the voice is saying, “I love you.”

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      • CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

        Ahh, that’s nice advice, thank you.

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      • Generic Image debanne says

        I don’t have grandkids yet, but I remember my grandma & all the wonderful things she taught me. We lived in a dulplex in NY & I was always with my nanna. She taught me to cook, crochet & sew. We plant a garden together in spring & cook the veggies we grew. Thoes memories will stay with me forever. Holidays were also a special time. Family came first & every year we always be together. I still have her hand written recipes that I use & pasted down to my boys.

        When I married & had my own children, nanna was always there for me, lending a hand & teaching my boys.  Now i just have thoes memories, & when we all get together it fun to remember & talk about days gone by, but by doing that we also make new memories. Time goes on & we need to gab every moment & treasure it.

         

         

        When I married & had my own children, she was also there for me, giving me advice & teaching my boys.

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      • CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

        I never had a grandma or grandpa nearby. Both grandfathers were dead and one grandmother. The other lived in Maine in another country. I never got to see her until I was 13. I was excited as to what a grandmother would be like but she never paid much attention to me. Her other grandchildren that lived near her were treated like grandchilden and they treated her like a grandmother. I guess too many years had gone by. We never connected. I never saw her again until she was really old and I was grown up and she was losing her memory. So I will never know what grandparents are like but my own mom was a great Nanna to all her many grandchildren and I guess I’ve learned a few things from her. I hope my grandson calls me Nanna. It is such a comforting name.

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      • Generic Image debanne says

        I’m sorry to learn you never really knew your grandmother, they are special people.

        Your right about being called Nanna, it is a comforting name, & my nanna was a very comforting person.

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      • Flower Bear Flower Bear says

        I am grandmother to 5 and all of their friends call me Grandma, especially the teen-age friends of the 16 year old. They think I’m cool because I listen to classic rock sometimes and use the word “awesome” alot. I am 61 and accept grandchildren of all ages. So if you need one, I’m always available. My grandchildren call me Grandma or Grammy because my mom was the Nana in the family. My sister’s grandchildren call her Nana which is the word she chose. The first time they actually said “Grammy” I just cried like a baby. It’s the most beautiful sound in the world next to Mommy.

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  8. Sunblossom Sunblossom says

    Well, I’m not really a loner, although I do like some alone time….my most happy times….I collect beach glass to make jewelry, so my walks on the beach every Saturday morning…..cup of good coffee….conversations with God (you know the ones where you tell him what he should be doing with your life!!)….and finding treasures along the shore….meeting people on the beach and having a great connection with them…I sell at craft shows, that is a happy time….I love meeting and talking to all the different people…different from my day to day job…I love creating my jewelry and making people happy wearing it (and not charging an arm and a leg)…I love walking through a garden center dreaming of a dream garden….I love working in the earth, the smell, the potential…

    But truly I am always happy with just an “ordinary” day….where I can get up, thank God for another day, reach over and touch the wonderful man next to me….have coffee on my sunporch, head out to work and hopefully be productive….home to a nice dinner with the man in my life, a snuggle on the couch watching TV….with the woodstove making the room all toasty and warm…some laughs, some plans…falling asleep together…calling my kids, knowing they are all doing ok…I have had a lot of crazy times in my life and more good times…but those crazy times make me so appriciate a day without drama…

    As for making friends….well I moved to a new community about 3 years ago…I just try to jump in where I can, talk to as many people as I can….I joined a community chorus, started doing these craft shows (I always try to do the local ones), and I just talk, talk, talk….I met a great gal as a vendor at a local flea market and we aren’t friends yet, but I would call her a good acquaintance….if you aren’t much of a “joiner” I would try to change that perception of myself, and start saying well, I’ll try to join, I mean what’s the worst that could happen…you might no like it and then you just unjoin…..it really isn’t as scary as you think…..I just jump in, even if I am a little uncomfortable…..I persist until I am comfortable and have made a connection with a couple of people.   It takes time, but it does work.

     

     

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    • Generic Image debanne says

      I can’t wait till the day I can walk the beach in the morning & collect shells, & feel the ocean. We live in Kansas City MO right now, but I’m an east coast person at heart & my hubby & I are hopefully someday moving back to the coast to live by the beach. I can’t wait, but until then i enjoy what I have here. Goods friends, good books, my quilting group & craft fairs!!

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  9. Generic Image Maggie De Vore says

    Wow — what a picture!!  You sound like a Japanese Haiku poem being written!!  You present yourself as myself — aloneness but not lonely.  Which of course gives you that wonderful place of being in ‘choice’ at all times.  When you hanker — it may be because ‘the teacher is waiting for you’ and all you have to do is trust, and open your eyes just a little wider as you go about your life’s business so you don’t miss opportunities.  They are there.  Join a writer’s critique group – killing two birds with one stone.  Have an art show at the library.  Enter an example of your gardening into a competition?    I’m a loner – never feel lonely.  I’ve invited 5 or 6 ladies in for ‘tea and cookie’s on Wed afternoons.  We are a mixture!  Artists, writers, retired business and teacher ladies.  And almost without fail we solve all the worlds problems in the three hours we meet.  We need three hours – it’s a big world.  It’s informal it feels like friends.  Oh, and we laugh a lot.

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    • CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

      This is a nice picture as well…the idea of you and your friends solving all the world’s problems. I sounds very enjoyable. Thanks for your input, I will keep it in mind.

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  10. Generic Image Maggie De Vore says

    The picture you conjured has stuck with me — sooo in order to turn it loose I took a whack at a Haiku – called Chopsticks and Beer — 1st line –Eating blueberries;  2nd line – Sunshine beaming warm, soft, bright;  3) Chopsticks, cheese and beer.  Haiku consists of 3 lines, 5 syllables in the first – 7 in the second and 5 in the last.  Hope you like it.

     

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  11. CarolMarlene CarolMarlene says

    Just been reading over all the posts above. It’s been over two years since I had beer and blueberries on the patio with chopsticks. You know, I only did that a couple of times.
    But one of the ladies that replied on this very post is coming to visit me in a few days. And you can bet I will be serving up blueberries/cheese/beer and with the chopsticks. It gets a little hot this time of year on my back patio so we might have to enjoy them on the front deck in the shade.
    The weather here has been so lovely all summer, hot and sometimes humid. Not the kind of weather that some like but I do so adore. It makes my hair extra curly!
    I am excited to have my friend come and visit me and who knows what kind of trouble we might get into? JK.
    And on another note, my grandson is now living just a few minutes drive from me, and he and I spent all day yesterday together at my place having fun.

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