Hilaire over at Clashing Hats blogged recently about having a migraine, and most especially, being still new in her area and feeling that she really didn't have anyone to call. I think that feeling is pretty common for academics, especially those of us who've moved pretty far from family and college pals. I know I've felt it before.
The other day, I biked from the trailhead, and then did errands, and along the way, I stopped at a retired friend's house, just on the chance that she would be in. She was, visiting with another neighbor about a craft project, so I chatted for a while and we got caught up. I had several reasons for wanting to visit, including catching up, but also asking her for a garden consult.
So thinking about Hilaire and the who to call thing: last year this friend had surgery, and in the days following, I hung out reading while she napped when her partner couldn't be around, so that she'd have someone there if she needed help getting up or if something bad happened. Mostly she slept, which was fine, and of course nothing bad happened, but you know how it is, you just feel better knowing someone's around just in case, and if that's me reading for a couple hours, that's fine? That's how I felt, anyway.
I was thinking about that and Hilaire, and realized that if something happened to me here, now, I actually do have a community to call on. And I'm glad to have realized that. Even if what I need is only a gardening consult, I have friends to call on. It's a really comfortable thing to realize, after feeling sort of alienated in this community.