A Mom Scavenger HUNT!
Finding what we love after relocation is a lot like a scavenger hunt. You have a list and a general location, but not much else. Discovering what to search is key.
OLD SCHOOL GARAGE SALE-ING
Back in the 80s, Mom and I got to figure this one out through garage sale-ing after our move to Dallas from Atlanta. In Atlanta, the Garage Sale paper would appear every week in our mailbox. This community guide detailed items for sale and ALL of the garage sales that weekend.
Once in Dallas, we figured this would be a fun way to learn about how to get around. However, there were no Green Sheets. In fact, there was no garage sale source anywhere. Dallas was all about the newspapers, both major and community. Even those didn’t include very much, so mostly we drove around to find them.
WHERE SHOULD I SEARCH?
The primary source of information varies from community to community and from activity to activity.
In Minnesota, information primarily came through through the community education department in each school district. There was always an abundance of activities for everyone from learning Spanish and reading to dogs in the library to senior trips to Europe.
Atlanta proved more difficult. The school district had limited events and opportunities outside of the school day. In this area, online searches for specific group or location searches were the key. For example, Atlanta area moms group or Lake Lanier events proved much more effective than searching for a central source.
And then in Dallas Fort Worth, I found a number of printed sources that would keep track of festivals, educational seminars and kids events. Between Ft Worth Child, Suburban Parents and Texas Highways, I could find what I needed while exploring the greater area.
THE WEB ~
The secret is to know what to search in every place. I suggest the following “just general enough” types of searches:
- (City name) magazine, events, calendar, chamber of commerce
- (State name) magazine, events, calendar
- (City/County name) Garden/womens/MOPs/Newcomers/etc. Club, Group or Association
- National Local Clubs – Rotary/Lions/Kiwanis/Sorority/Fraternaty/College/etc.
- Meetups – Moms/Writers/Language practice/nurses/music/etc
- Religious Studies – BSF/MOPS/Bible Study/Prayer groups
- Moms day out – a infant/pre-school Southern thing
- Local (type specific) shops – biker/English EXPATs/running clubs & groups
- School district & school specific PTA/Gifted and Talented/Moms
- All of the surrounding city Parks and Recreation Events/Magazine/Newsletter
- Facebook for all the above
ENGAGE! ~ Yes you need to call,
or just show up 😉
Most of what you will find, does not require an RSVP. Showing up at a local club (Rotary, Garden, PTA, etc.) or a of course something like a bike shop is pretty easy. Ask some questions, get on the newsletter email list and start to connect.
If your favorite activity/sport/club isn’t listed, call around. The local Chambers of Commerce will have people answering the phone that will give you information about their members, as well as the area they live in.
No one to call? The public libraries have research desks, for You. Call the research desk and ask. Nothing is too mundane or crazy.
The bonus to showing up or calling, is that by visiting or calling you will meet people who want to talk to you. Chances are they will be willing to answer future questions, too.
BUT, WHAT IF YOU CAN’T DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT??
Sometimes as moms, we just don’t know what we want. After being so busy crafting lives for those around us…Frankly, we forget.
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