all about the club

 

I’m going to fill you in on a little secret of mine. It goes something like this.

This time last year, I was lonely. The holidays were over. The snow was still piling up at my doorstep, making it seem like spring weather would never show it’s face. Andy was on his usual schedule of two weeks home and two weeks off. I had my group of friends I hung out with, but they also had their own busy schedules to occupy them. I was the only one at the time being within our group that was a stay at mom, with a toddler. So I came up with a plan. Make more friends.

This is what led me to “the secret”. I went online looking for friends.

GASP.

 I went into it with the thought that perhaps I would find a group to join. A playgroup to take Hayden to. Meet some local moms. I’ll even break down and tell you that I might have scanned some ads of people on the lookout themselves. Scary to say the least. It amazes me the information people put out there. I can’t be the only one that assumes most people are serial killers.

Mat- Su Moms. A group of stay at home moms who meet up several times a week for play dates with the kids, coffee, or even a crafting day. Sure, why not? Hayden and I packed up one Tuesday morning to meet the group for an indoor play date at a local sports center. Everyone was very friendly. All the woman I spoke to were welcoming and kind, and Hayden seemed to be enjoying herself. Yet, it just didn’t fit. As a newbie, I was separated from the small groups of various moms chatting it up. I got an occasional question here or there from someone who came to introduce themselves, but it just seemed everyone had their own agenda, and I wasn’t part of it. Guess that one was a bust. Mat-Su Moms.

Reading Between the Wines. How adorable is that name? This happened to be the only book club that was listed for the entire area. They were brand new and due to spacing could only accept a small number of applicants. 12 that is, which had already been met. I emailed the organizer of the club asking if they would be accepting new members at a later time. A few days went by, then a couple of weeks and no response. Guess I’m 0 for 2. Reading Between the Wines.

Life continued on as normal. I lost interest in the prospect of finding new friends via the Internet and was frankly put off that I might end up out of desperation joining some type of cult. I’ve been known to get myself into some pickles.

Then low and behold, I got a response from the organizer of the book club. There had been a miscommunication with her co-organizer and some requests had not been handled yet. Long story short. I was in. Our first meet up would take place at her home in Anchorage, the first weekend of March. We would all need to bring a dish in relation to the book chosen for that month.

book club 1

It was a perfect first book. An easy read. Intriguing and kept you interested the whole time. It takes place during World War II on the Channel Islands. The Germans forbid the reading of books and discussion, yet a small group of people formed an underground book club and would meet weekly to discuss books, cook meals together with their limited supply of food, and be there to support each other during this grievous time.

I chose to bring an English Tea Cake. It turned out so delicious, I nearly ate half of it before I could finish wrapping it up. The meeting started at 6:30. I left Hayden with my sister in law for the evening and made the drive into Anchorage. The house was lovely. In a nice part of town, at the end of a cul de sac. I double checked the address and parked on the street in front of her home. Grabbing my cake, I headed up the driveway. I had only made it about half way when it suddenly hit me, this could potentially be the dumbest move. I’ve agreed to go to a complete stranger’s house along with 12 other people that I don’t know the first thing about. But then the thought popped up that I’ve already driven all this way, and I actually showered and got presentable today. I made it up the steps and knocked loudly.

A short, extremely friendly, blonde woman with a huge smile opened the door and welcomed me in. She introduced herself as Jennifer, the organizer and owner of the home. Only a few other ladies had made it so far, so introductions went fast. Her house was decorated so incredibly nice. Everyone was so kind, the food that everyone brought was incredible, and by the time I finished my second glass of wine, I was hooked. The night was a huge success and it began so many wonderful friendships. I’ve continued on with the group, missing only a meeting or two, reading so many great books along the way.

the_snow_child

the healing of amerca

book club 2

beautiful-ruins

I’ve been lucky enough to host on several occasions. I just finished hosting in December, and was fortunate to be asked to host again in February. A lot of the other women choose books they’ve read or a friend has read and recommended. I always just pick randomly and really hope it doesn’t flop. How embarrassing. I went with one that was suggested on my Amazon account.

The Fault in Our Stars

It’s one that can be enjoyed by many. It’s considered young adult, so even one you can read with your teen. I would recommend high school age since there are a few intimate moments in the book. I started it one night at 10 pm, hoping that if I read for a short while, I would doze off sooner than if I opted to glue my peepers to Hulu. I read the entire thing in one sitting! I immediately fell in love with the main characters. They are both witty and sarcastic. Funny and smart. It’s a love story, with deep roots. It revolves around death, being in that most of the characters are battling some type of life threatening disease. It’s real life. It’s not a fairy tale story of boy meets girl and they live happily ever after. It’s reality. I laughed, a lot. I had moments with tears and sadness. By the last few pages, these people seem so real to you, their lives spread out in front of you. In my opinion, it’s a coming of age, must read.

So in retrospect, my little secret, turned into a wonderful addition to my life. I’m thankful to have added so many amazing people to my life.

Sometimes we have vulnerable, scary moments in our life. If we give in, and turn around, all we are doing is returning to the darkness we were trying to get away from. But when you push forward, towards the light, it’s only then that you will grow and bloom.

3 thoughts on “all about the club

  1. Oh Panda! It makes me want to join a book club or go into a random store and greet someone in hopes of a new friend! 🙂 you amaze me friend, your just simply fabulous!

  2. I am so proud to have you in the bookclub and as my wonderful friend! You are without question an amazing lady and I’m so glad we met and I’m eternally grateful for your friendship. You are my kindred party planner spirit! We will open that business one day… 🙂

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