Monthly Archives: December 2018

The Power of a Housewarming Party

On December 1, less than a month after we moved in, Sydney and I hosted a housewarming party at our new home.

We invited a number of people:

  • The kids and their families from Pizza and Paperbacks at the Sea Cliff library
  • Half a dozen households on our block
  • All the kids and their families from kindergarten
  • Another half dozen adults I met in Sea Cliff from various aspects of moving in

My primary goal was to make friends, both for Sydney and me. We ended up with 28 attendees. More than a dozen kids spent two hours playing with each other in the basement and in Sydney’s bedroom, having a great time. Sydney told me “it was the best party ever”. The adults hung out in my living room, sipping on drinks. I provided name tags so everyone would know everyone.

Interestingly, out of 10 classmates, only one child and her mom from kindergarten showed up and only three others even RSVPed they would not attend. I think this is the reality of a school that draws people from distance.

But the party worked for making friends in Sea Cliff. Sydney now has a new friend named Amelia and a play date arranged next weekend. Sydney and I have a campsite booked next to another family of three at Sea Cliff’s big September camping trip next year, which we’ll join if we can. And I had an experience yesterday that clearly affirmed the benefits of throwing yourself a party when moving into a new town.

Sydney was with her mom for nine days over Chanukkah, so I scheduled a work trip to Australia. I arrived home after three flights and 28.5 hours of travel on Tuesday evening, did not bother setting an alarm, and slept until 11:00 AM yesterday! Rushing to get through a workout and work, I was disheartened when leaving to pick up Sydney from school that I could not even get into my car.

Not knowing anyone who might lend me a car, I had to call Uber and picked up Sydney late. I had the Uber driver stop on the way home at an auto parts store to get a new battery for my electronic key. Turns out that was not the problem. I then learned from a little internet research a Prius has two batteries, including a small one to start the engine that can go dead if a light is left on.

At this point, I was frustrated and unhappy. I had picked up Sydney late from school and she just wanted to play. But I needed to get my car fixed so I could get her to school the next day. I did not have jumper cables and didn’t really know whom to ask. I felt pretty alone.

The power of a small town and our housewarming party kicked in. I texted four acquaintances from Sea Cliff, three of whom had attended our housewarming party. One responded right away and said her husband was on the way over. He arrived with his daughter and we figured out a Prius can’t be charged with regular jumper cables. Another acquaintance walked to the village mechanic to ask him for a solution, called me, and gave me the mechanic’s number. This morning he drove over and jump started the car.

I am still not thrilled to be in New York but am happy to have found Sea Cliff – and thankful we threw that housewarming party!