Welcome to the wilds! New Jersey for me was like crossing the border into Tijuana. Sure, the new lifestyle was crazy, but no one would ever admit to living there. When my husband’s job was relocated here in August 2010, we both were frightened. Now we’re learning about life, love, and marriage in this strange new culture. Feel free to tag along for the adventure.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Uttering “never” for me is like throwing the possibility out…on a boomerang. It always flies back and snaps me in the back of the head when I least expect it.

Seven years ago as I headed for college in the City of Pittsburgh, I proclaimed, “I never want to live in a small town again!” And let me tell you, the words were uttered with such fervent resolve, I (and everyone else in my family) was sure I’d never ever go back. For seven years, I escaped the cows and their fragrant manure, tractors clogging the two lane highways, the suicide deer leaping in front of my speeding death machine, and the “hi-dee-ho” neighbor life style. But alas, I had uttered “never.” Karma and Divine humor have swirled together into a psychedelic throwback to the “back country.”

But the real kicker, being from Central Pennsylvania (Pennsyl-tucky as I’ve learned to call it since living in Washington DC), moving to New Jersey is like crossing the border into Tijuana. Sure, the new lifestyle is crazy, but no one ever admits to living there. It’s the place you go to get your gas pumped for you and it’s a necessary evil in route to New York City. Nobody ever says, “I’m moving to this great place, it’s in New Jersey.” People move with hope, optimism, and enthusiasm to places like Florida, California, or Australia. These are the places that dreams are made of; not New Jersey. More specifically, not rural New Jersey wilderness. The very words when said aloud ring with an almost disgusted tone.

Now, here I am: packing for the inevitable adventure. Thus far, I’ve been told I will most certainly be attacked by a bear, my skin will turn orange, my hair will be all types of blond, and I will need low cut tops and fake nails in order to assimilate into this unknown culture. But, “everyone reaches life’s finish line, it’s how you get there that counts,” so I’m being optimistic. I intend to find the hidden gems of the state, find some hobbies, and experience renting a house with my husband (and two cats) instead of our little two bedroom.

With a wary smile, I am signing off...hoping to survive.

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