The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 14, 2007

Features

Reaching out to Carlisle newcomers

Unless you grew up in Carlisle, you have probably experienced the feelings of dislocation that accompanied your move to town. Sometimes they last longer than expected — it often takes several years to feel comfortable in a new community.

When Barbara Lewis and her family were preparing to move to East Riding Drive in Carlisle in March 2000, she remembers thinking, "My boys would have the school community, my husband would have his job, and I would have to find friends to replace those I left behind in Michigan." It didn't take long. Responding in September 2000 to a notice in the Mosquito about a Concord-Carlisle Newcomers Club coffee, Lewis says, "I didn't know anyone. But I braved it and went." She soon found a welcoming group and formed strong friendships that are still in place seven years later.

Activities for every interest

The Concord-Carlisle Newcomers Club provides social support and planned activities to help newcomers adjust to and feel part of their environment. The first event of the year, an Autumn Welcome Breakfast, will be held next Tuesday, September 18, at 9:30 a.m. at the Colonial Inn, and an evening welcome is scheduled, also at the Colonial Inn, on Tuesday, September 25, at 6 p.m. To attend either of these events, call Ros Pullman at 1-978-318-7928 or e-mail her at pullfam@prodigy.net.

The club's varied activities reflect the diversity and interests of the membership. Both daytime and evening events are planned to accommodate a variety of schedules, including four Saturday evening social get-togethers where members can meet other newcomers. In addition, Newcomers' fall schedule includes a boat cruise and luncheon on the Concord and Sudbury Rivers on September 26, a walking group that meets every Thursday to explore the Bay Circuit Trail (next group meets on Thursday, September 20), and several meetings of interest groups.

Interest groups under the Newcomers' umbrella were created and are led by members, meet regularly and offer the chance to pursue activities and friendships in a small-group atmosphere. Groups that meet during the day include gardening, needlework, walking, bridge, cross-country skiing, and the daytime book club. In the evening the gourmet group, the evening book group and men's poker night (in Carlisle) meet.

For information about Newcomers, their groups and activities, visit www.concordcarlislenewcomers. org.

Making connections

Newcomers president Kathy Cuocolo of Concord joined the club at the prompting of a neighbor and past president, "and I have found just what I needed — other people who wanted to make connections." Cuocolo adds, "Another benefit is that I met parents of students in the same year as my son. Having moved here for his high school years, that is an interesting time to try and break into a network, which is so important for the development of both the child's and parents' social lives."

Ann Rosas of Westford Street has lived in Carlisle just under a year. "I am impressed with how genuine the Newcomers members are and how they truly want to get to know new people," she writes in an e-mail. "Everyone in the group has moved to this area from somewhere else, some from overseas. They all know that it can be hard to make friends in a new place."

Lewis points out, "Although you meet your neighbors, people's lives are so full they might not have time to fill your empty spaces." That's where Newcomers reaches out and extends a neighborly hand.

Ros Pullman of Hutchins Road, who is responsible for the organization's web site and newsletter, had joined newcomers groups in two other states before moving to Carlisle in 2001. Of the Concord-Carlisle club, Pullman says, "This group is so welcoming and friendly. And it attracts people with older children or with no children at home." She adds that people often stay with their interest groups even after their membership eligibility expires after seven years in town. Memberships are $50 a year per household.

Whether you're still unpacking all those cartons or you've lived here for a few years and still feel like "the new kid on the block," the Concord-Carlisle Newcomers Club is anxious to meet and welcome you.


2007 The Carlisle Mosquito