Originally Posted by rowanberry
Well, we are hoping to move to Lenoir around Christmas time or earlier. I have heard it is a beautiful town. The only thing is, I have just read that “If you are not kin, you are not in” That worried me a bit as we have a 4 yr old starting school there this year. The move will be traumatic enough (we live in Louisiana at the mo) but I am more worried about how we will be welcomed. I did hear people are friendly, but is this only when they know you will be leaving soon?
I may be just worried for nothing but thought I would check with you good folks before I take a plunge. This will be the only time we can move, as my husband’s health is not good. I just want to make sure we are doing the right thing. Thanks for any advice, as it will be appreciated more than you know! Leesa.
I don't know about Lenoir in particular, but we moved to a much smaller community in Ashe county last year. I moved without a job as 1) I have a profession in which it is usually easy to find a job (nursing), 2) it was "now or never" as we had been trying to leave the state where we were for years and the money was available "now" and our health is not as good as it was when we were younger so waiting for the "right time" was not feasible, and 3) even though we had the money to move we didn't have the money for me to commute back and forth job hunting
We, rather I, expected it to take as much as 3 months to find a job and planned financially for it. I knew the area was "clannish," that was one of the reasons we like the area - family means something, families are close and family values still mean what they used to mean elsewhere. Quite a few of the family names around here go back to well before the Civil War. Most of the streets carry the name of the folks to whom that area of land once belonged and many of those folk still reside on the street
It didn't take me 3 months, it took 8 before I found my first part time job. I am currently working 3 part time jobs (one of which is home based WAY out of state). I warmly admit that it was a local man from a local family who was the first to give me a job. He needed someone of my experience and skills who was willing to work very few hours, at infrequent times and on short notice (as that was all his start up business was able to provide) and who was willing to grow with him - I was the woman for the job on all accounts
I also want to say a few other things: it was a local pastor (granted I was given an introduction by a friend who used to live here but we never were members of his congregation) who helped out *tremendously* that first year with things like coming and telling me how to work with and maintain a well pump system, mowing my lawn for a pittance, building the ramp I needed for my old dog who was unable to navigate the steep steps to the dog yard and provided over all "just knowing he's there" support (and patience).
I only had one experience with shunning or ostrization of which I was aware. Otherwise people were warm and friendly. It should be taken into consideration that I look VERY different and wear "odd" clothing related to our religious observance. Some of this clothing is easily mistaken as similar to that worn by Islamic women (a full head covering) and in a post-9/11 world, while I do think it effected my job situation, it never effected personal interactions.
Today, some 16 months after moving here, we are active members of our church community, my husband teaches a bible study under that church, I am working more hours than I want while still making a bit less than we need but we can pay our own bills.
From the beginning I have made a point of going out and getting involved in the community where I can. Sometimes this meant accessing the free medical clinic and sometimes it meant getting involved in local political party during the local elections, other times it meant taking a job that exposed me to various levels of the community on a frequent basis.
Living in this kind of community in this region is different than it could be said to be elsewhere. Folks are cautious and, like all of us, are most comfortable in their own comfort zone. Here however it doesnt work well to "just keep to yourself" like it does in many other locales. If you keep to yourself you won't find too many willing to reach across the breach to you. You must do the reaching. When you do folks will get to know you and most often they receive you warmly.
One caution. In these communities folks know what is happening. Knowing this made it easier to make a difficult decision in my job hunt.
I had a headhunter call me several months back and offer me the directorship of a local business for quite a lot of money. All they had seen was my online resume and they were offering me the job. Well, that was a red flag but we needed the money badly, and the security and benefits etc.... So I did a little cyber research. I found that the business had been in deep waters for several years, had gone from bad to worse, and had gone through as many directors in as many years. I enjoy a challenge and in other circumstances and another locale I might have taken it on, but I knew that 1) I didn't have the local network that would be necessary to have to succeed in turning things around and 2) the community was way too small and close enough for me to risk tying my name to something that had such a difficult reputation - and risk carrying such a connection around with me for years to come.
So here I am, building my reputation slowly and patiently. It has already paid off in the support we have gotten from our church and others in the community. We totally enjoy living here and are very glad we made this choice!