New place, new people

Admitting that you're lonely is mostly unacceptable. Loneliness as a phenomenon is fine to discuss, but individual loneliness - not ok.

We're a social species. If you're lonely, you're probably doing something wrong. People congregate, conjugate.

There are people everywhere. In central Jersey, there's hardly a lonely spot. I could be deep in the woods, and then hear a car go by, a dog bark, or a mower start up. Not so deep in the woods.

A car driving by isn't a friend, though. Finding friends in a new place isn't always easy, even with an ice-breaking kid by my side. "Hi, I'm Rachel. That's my son. How old is your son? Mine's..."

Our new (old 1830s) house is truly home. We've scratched the hardwood floors we refinished over a year ago. A couple pieces of framed artwork have been hung up. I can walk in the basement barefoot. For better or for worse, the house smells like us. We've made it ours.

But, no friends. Not local ones anyway.

And then suddenly, there are people everywhere. Neighbors, locals, familiar and friendly faces at the hardware store and the playground, too.