Tag Archive | lake hopatcong

Made in New Jersey…You talkin’ to me?

Map of New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Pa...

I never thought I would be writing about my home state, but here we are. Age, wisdom and the recent acts of a strong breathed woman named Sandy have conspired and swelled my soul until the words are bubbling over. It’s time to set them free, so here it goes.

I am from a small town in NJ called Lake Hopatcong, also known as Jefferson Township, a pure Jersey girl born and bred. I never really knew what that meant until I moved to the South and somehow quietly came to the conclusion, “ah, ok things are very different here, I am very different here.” An outspoken girl from Jersey thrown into a place where there are more Churches than I’ve ever seen. There are so many people blessing my little heart and not always saying what they really mean, I just wasn’t sure how this was going to work out. As it turns out most of the people I ran into are from New York and New Jersey. Say hello to the New South.

Sandy’s devastation has me reflecting on the strength and perseverance of the Jersey people and wondering if this is truth or part of a myth given to us courtesy of Jimmy Hoffa and Tony Soprano. Maybe because of the dense population of our state we have been pummeled by a few “Sandy sized” waves throughout our lifetime. Or, maybe because we live in the shadows of one of the fastest paced cities in the world, we have always had to run a little faster just to keep up and get up quicker when we fall–just sayin’.

We are a unique breed of people that really do use the horns in our cars, a lot. We drink “cawfee” and on occasion may suffer from a slight lack of patience, and we can be slightly quick tempered while cruising our overcrowded highways. The bottom line is we are built from sturdy stock and will rise from these ashes, stronger, if that’s even possible. We do bend, but we will never, ever break.

We say things like, “it is what it is, and not for nothing” and some of us really do say….”you talkin’ ta me” and “forgeta bout it.” We eat hero’s and drink sodas, but we are so much more than the stereotypes portrayed. We are incredibly candid and amazingly proud. You can search the world over and will never find people with as much realness of spirit as those found in that little corner of the world. We are fresh, Jersey corn and tomato fresh.

We will continue to band together and draw from our collective strength, we are Jersey strong. And yes, Virginia there is a placed called The Shore, not the beach, and most of us have spent our summers tossing coins into the big wire baskets that sit in the middle of the NJ Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway while en route to Seaside.

Stand strong, help is on the way.



Debbie Hope aka Full of Hope


Calling all “Jeffersoners”

Welcome to all my new “old” friends from Lake Hopatcong/Oak Ridge, NJ…………It’s so comforting to feel you around me once again. We shared our lives and our families for a good bit of our lives, and that is a tie that binds.

Perhaps you can relate to the below short story (re-blog from my site at http://www.thethoughtfullife.wordpress.com) as the genesis for your family’s home on or near Lake Hopatcong.


Debbie Hope
Aka Full of Hope

I can envision the scene clearly in my mind. A sleepy lake community, not much around except water and woods. Most people are living in the city or in another slumbering suburb closer to civilization. There aren’t many all year round houses. Several summer bungalows are scattered along the tree lined unpaved road. Most look potato chip thin and could easily crumble during a long, cold winter. A strong wind may send them floating through the air along with Dorothy and Toto and their house.

A semi rolls through and grinds to a bumpy stop and the squeak of his brakes echo in the stillness. His tires fill the air with plumes of dust that trail for a good mile behind him. He checks and re-checks his papers to make sure he’s in the right place. It’s hard to tell since he has never come out this far before. Most of his stops are a little more populated than this one.

He glances back over the trailer and takes a quick inventory. Everything appears to be there. The flat bed is filled to the brim with lumber. Pieces of every shape and size nestled neatly in a pile, one intricately placed on top of another. Today is different than most days. He is delivering a truck full of dreams disguised as lumber. The genesis of a family filled with Hope.

Flash forward over fifty five years. That same street is brimming with houses. Potato chip thin walls have been replaced with thick, strong foundations much like the people who have lived there. Many lives have swirled through this house. People have come and gone and yet she weathered all the storms. All things truly do come to an end. It is time to move on. Time to count the many blessings and endless memories. Time to say farewell, you served us well.

Full of Hope