How Tough Is Tough? Visit Us in New Jersey and Find Out

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?

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7 Responses to How Tough Is Tough? Visit Us in New Jersey and Find Out

  1. Shari says:

    My heart hurts for all of y’all. Please keep the faith.

  2. Oh, Darlene! I am so thinking about you and everyone back there. Hang in there, Jersey Girl. Better days ahead for all of you…sending hugs, Nancy

  3. Kristin says:

    Human beings are pretty amazing. I’ve seen a few people being less than Jersey Tough – especially when their hardships are so much less than in other areas. I think that – sometimes – the harder the problems, the better people perform.

    Just don’t complain about how cable is out or school isn’t in session when people have lost their homes/lives, you know?

    • I understand what you’re saying, Kristin.

      My minister said that difficult situations often magnify our usual reactions/behaviors: If we’re typically kind and helpful we become more so; if we are whiney and selfish we become more so. I’m pretty much seeing that with the people I know. Thank God I know a lot of gruff but kind folks; they help me keep my sense of perspective on what we’re dealing with.

  4. Joyce says:

    Do you have power yet??? There are still a few in our area without, but schools did reopen today. They have a lean attendance policy as they recognize the buses cannot go down all their normal routes so in some cases parents would have to drive in. Thankfully the weather is warming up this weekend!! Glad you’re holding on to your sanity and sense of humor!

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