First there was the alpha force storm called Sandy. She blew into New Jersey uninvited almost two weeks ago, and like an uninvited houseguest is wont to do, she created a tremendous amount of chaos and left us feeling stressed, majorly stressed. At our Montclair home Sandy felled huge branches, crushed fences and sucked us dry; we were eight days and seven nights without electricity and creature comforts; renegade outages continue at our home. And we got off lightly!
Our beloved Jersey Shore is forever changed by Sandy. Miles of shoreline are gone, as are many homes and businesses. Lives have been lost and many have been changed forever. The Seaside boardwalk of my youth, which I visited annually with my kids, lives only in memory now. The Shore house our extended family rented for a week in 2013 disappeared into Sandy’s pounding waves as did two Shore houses we rented in the past.
Then last night a nor’easter blew through New Jersey. God bless us. I woke up this morning to 3” of snow (maybe more), tree branches bent close to the ground under the weight of the heavy snow and more power outages. Friends in Central Jersey got 10” of snow and remain powerless for more than 10 days. And on it goes. We got hit, hard, before we even had time to recover from Sandy.
But guess what, folks?
We New Jerseyans are survivors. Some of you make fun of our accents, some talk in whispers about TV shows that depict us as awful people, some say that we’re tough and abrasive, even abrupt, impatient and mean sometimes. Hah. The TV shows don’t depict most New Jerseyans, but the rest of it is spot on: We are tough; we can be abrasive. It’s who we are and we’re okay with that. We took a beating, a severe beating, first with Sandy and then with the follow-on nor’easter, yet at first light we lifted our heads, walked outside and began to talk with each other about our tomorrows.
Could you do the same? Are you Jersey tough?