Tag Archive | NJ

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


The Real Jersey Shore

Hey all you Jersey Shore fans. I grew up going to the Jersey Shore way before GTL (gym, tanning, laundry) was made popular by the Situation. Come take a ride with me. Move over all you Jersey Shore wannabees, welcome to the Real Jersey Shore.

Here we go – heading down the Garden State Parkway – South, of course. Sun roof open, music thumping from the 8 track (yup, 8 track), a few stops along the GSP for potty and hello exit 82 . . . we’re almost there.

Everything in its proper place . . . baby oil, beach towels, sun glasses, sand chair, banana boat suntan lotion, oh, and toll money – can’t forget to feed the tolls – we are officially ready and heading to Seaside! The year? Late seventies/early eighties.

We are driving along waiting patiently to see the bridge, there it is . . . windows rolled down (manual roll down of course – no electric windows here) – ah, smell the salty air – see the sparkling waves from the bridge? Sand and surf are definitely not far away. Gotta make sure you’re there for the best tanning hours – 10AM to 2PM.

Here we are – life can begin again. We collect our belongings from the car and walk from one end of the boardwalk to the other. Big decisions are in store . . . what to eat and where to sunbathe. We’re young so we have a little of everything – no food left unturned. Pizza, custard, waffles and ice cream, fudge, salt water taffy for the ride home and yes, the Midway sausage and pepper sandwich which, I swear we smelled when we got off the Parkway. These sandwiches are sure to turn a vegan into a carnivore!

The familiar sights, sounds and smells bombard you from all sides. The carousel pavilion ahead of you, sky ride and fly by ad banners above you, and the ever present and eternally annoying game stand owners calling to you from all sides. I mean really, how many times can you shoot water from a gun into a clown’s mouth?

The same familiar scene every summer . . . . halter tops, terry cloth short shorts, sun tanned bodies all heading to the upscale Sand Tropez beach shop to pick up the latest beach fashion. What will it be this year – signature Jackie O sunglasses?

Rain or shine – doesn’t matter. A trip to the Jersey shore is always a sure thing.