Saturday, April 11, 2015

Long Story Short

I am not a Saturday blogger. Saturdays are for other things, but I know me and skipping a letter in the A-Z challenge would make me twitch so I'm going to eke out something about something. 

J is for  New Jersey

Home. The place I grew up and the place I raised toddlers and the place we've come back to as 'empty nesters'. As an aside-I'm not a fan of the term 'empty nest'. Firstly it's depressing, and secondly it makes us sound old. And dull. 

We are not old. 
Not that there's anything wrong with old, it's just that we're not there yet. 

And we're definitely not dull. 

Now back to New Jersey. She gets a bad rap. About some things. 
Some of what you hear isn't too far off the mark. 

This is my third time round the Garden State. My parents moved to NJ when I was in Kindergarten and, long story short they stayed. I grew up in a neighborhood with sidewalks and street lights and lots of kids. Where you could ride your bike to the pool or the duck pond and catch fireflies in your own backyard on warm summer nights. 

It was a pretty great place to be a kid. 

I moved south for college. Upon setting my feet in East Tennessee I found my accent and my inner southern girl and pretty soon thereafter, a southern boy. I married him. The south is my adopted home.

In that funny way life has of twisting and turning, we moved back to my earlier homeland, aka NJ, when Daughter1 was a year old. Hubs corporate headquarters were located in NJ, so we always knew it was a possibility. 

We were young and poor. Poor by NJ standards-ha! What you've heard about the ridiculous cost of living here is correct. It is indeed ridiculous. So we bought a house a long way from the office, and we had another baby and we lived on love and macaroni. We called NJ home for five whole years. 

We went on to move and then move again and long story short, we moved back to NJ after six years abroad. Re-entry was brutal. 

We've almost recovered. 

It's been a crazy five+ years in this thing I'll go ahead and call the empty nest. Mostly it feels like we've spent a lot of time schlepping. Our families are scattered and our children live in two different states, now in two different parts of the country, so planes trains and automobiles have been a big part of this season. 

Such is life in the modern world. When our girls were little hubs used to try to convince them we should all live on a compound one day.

Long story short, we don't. 

Which brings me to now. We've stuck our big toe into the retirement pond, and we're figuring out what's next. We've always had a plan and also a dream. That plan and that dream were not set in the Garden State, so long story short we're headed back south. 

The south also gets a bad rap. About some things. 
Some of what you hear isn't too far off the mark.  

I'll talk about the move south another day, but right now you're wondering if I'll miss NJ? 

My answer is yes. 

If there's one thing I've learned in making a bunch of moves, it's that there's always something to miss. On the bright side, there's also always something I'm happy to leave behind. On the front end of a move, I think it's best to focus on the latter, but for the sake of this post how about a list of the other, ala stream of consciousness?

What will I miss about NJ?

I still have family here
my backyard in October
sunrise from my front porch
the view of the mountains as you come up the hill 
my hawk, our deer, mama fox tending her kits, and a black bear lumbering up the drive
my next door neighbor and friends a street over
my women's Bible Study
my hairdresser
hubs work peeps-some of them are my peeps too
my doctor
my boot camp experience
my neighborhood book club
the friendly gal who works the counter at my dry cleaners
Italian food on every corner
good bagels
breakfast at the diner
and New York City a short car ride away

There's more, but that's a snapshot. 

If you had to move tomorrow what would you miss?

Also, we are not moving tomorrow. We still have a house to sell. I'm not making a list of what I won't miss but if I were, selling a house would definitely be on it!


  1. Well, we thought we would miss a lot of things when we moved south from the Washington DC area, but all we really miss (other than family who live in Maryland and our son who is still in Virginia) is the Italian food on every corner. BUT, we did find an Italian market that we love to visit and we have two very good Italian restaurants right here in Lakeland. You don't really need more than two!! Good friends remain good friends..... We were so blessed that our house sold the day it was put on the market. Moving is another story, but we haven't done that for 26 years!

  2. I like hearing these moving stories because we will probably move from this are because it's so expensive. Sounds like transition is hard, but new beginnings are good.

  3. No, you are not old and you are not dull! I enjoy reading your posts...

    Take care ~Natalie

  4. Trying to start reading blogs again. I definitely have not been doing so lately. So I came by and read. I have lived in 3 places, Santa Fe, NM, Denver, Colorado and Tulsa/Coweta, Oklahoma. Since I've been an Okie for the past 50 years it is definitely "home" and where we will stay until our HEAVENLY home.

  5. I will miss our occasional lunches. I hope you keep in touch once you move.

  6. I haven't moved as much as you have, 38 years in Illinois and now almost 26 years in Southern California. We will be moving with retirement and I will most definitely miss the mountains. I am in awe of them on a daily basis. I will also miss the weather along with the view from out backyard.

  7. I can't wait to hear more about the move South. I cannot imagine moving as much as you have but there's an excitement about it that I think would be fun. I moved all my life until I got married and I've sort of missed it. Have a great week!

  8. We've only moved three times in nearly 43 years of marriage, thank goodness! I don't know how you do it.
    If I had to leave here, I'd miss our two oldest grown children/grandchildren the most, since they live close by. I'd also miss this old family farm that Ed's parents loved so much. (I wouldn't miss the heat/humidity or the gnats/mosquitoes though!)

  9. Just this morning we saw one of our favorite views. As we drive up a little hill on the main street in our town you look ahead and see the LI Sound and Connecticut in the distance. It is so beautiful! I would miss family, old fashioned kettle boiled bagels, bakeries, delis, NY pizza, the beaches, and the accent ;) Can't wait to hear where you are headed next and all about your move.

  10. lived on love and macaroni - wonderful.
    if I had to move tomorrow- well I would be surprised as I have only lived here just under 3 years.
    I would miss the sea

  11. I definitely WOULD miss a bear coming up my drive! We've only had two family homes and when we moved it was just around the corner. We're now empty nesters but not yet retired although we will be contemplating that and possibly down sizing at some point. I'm enjoying reading your blog :)