This world. This place. This life.

Jersey Girl


October 1979 (Colonia, NJ)

Earlier this year, I wrote this about being a “Jersey girl.”

We lived in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, a short train ride from New York City. . . . [Growing] up in New Jersey is part of who I am. I’ll always search for a tomato that tastes like the ones I remember. I’ll always remember our annual U-Pick pilgrimages—strawberries in June, blueberries in July, peaches in August, apples in September. My skin carries the memory of sunburns from the Jersey shore. In my 1989 high school graduation photo, I have the “mall hair” that was so emblematic of that time and place.

Here in Alaska, I’m a long way from my hometown in the Garden State. But images of Sandy’s devastation bring back memories of familiar places in New Jersey and New York City—places now dramatically altered.

My friends and family are safe and sound, though their lives have been turned upside-down.

My friend Rachel drove to Pennsylvania today—just to get gas.

My mother, just home from charging her phone at a friend’s house, told me that her windows are really dirty—and salty. Apparently it was raining saltwater during the storm.

After our short conversation, she called me back to tell me about rail cars pushed off their wheels, stranded on the New Jersey Turnpike.

“Is this the worst storm you’ve ever been through?” I asked her.  “Yes,” she said.

And that’s how it is for someone without power, but who has not only plenty of water, but hot water as well.  It’s much worse for others in New Jersey, and throughout the region.

If you want to help, both FEMA and the Red Cross say that cash donations are best.  Blood donations are also needed, since the storm disrupted planned blood drives.


2 thoughts on “Jersey Girl

  1. So, how are the folks? New Jersey looks like a bunch of little islands. Hope everyone is ok.

    love, mom

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