Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

"Here we go into the best state ever!" I said today as I always do whenever we cross the Delaware Memorial Bridge heading north. "Welcome to New Jersey!"

I have the softest of spots in my heart for the place I lived from the ages of 4 to 13. I started school here, got my first pets here, made my first friends here, and my memories of that time in my life are rosy and warm, so I love the place.

"What exactly is so great about New Jersey, anyway?" Heidi asked as we zipped along the turnpike, more curious than contrary.

"Oh my gosh!" I replied. "Everything! Well, jug handles to begin with. You rarely have to make a left hand turn from a busy road."

She nodded, unconvinced.

"They have the Pine Barrens, the Shore, blueberries, peaches and tomatoes. And they have lots of important historical places." Just then we rolled past a quintessential South Jersey landscape-- a wide, winding creek bordered by tall pines and wild grasses. "And then there's that." I swept my arm at the vista to our right.

"Pretty," she agreed.

"And Bon Jovi, Springsteen, and Philly Soul?"

"Not bad," she shrugged.

We drove on into the late summer evening, the trees casting sharp shadows in the slanting golden light, so familiar, so welcoming.

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