If you had told me when I was a 17 year-old high-school graduate that I would have 4 children and 17 (soon to be more) grandchildren, I would have laughed. I had plans … direction. I was going to college for 2 years to learn another language so I could travel and get enough ‘life experience’ to write.
Then the Lord turned one of my best friends into the love of my life and I ‘gave it all up’ to marry him and follow him down a different path. Years later, 37 to be exact, I’ve had more than enough ‘life experience’. I could write tons of books about children, families, faith … living. But so far, I’ve only had time for 2!
So now the Lord is giving me time to write more books. He’s brought me full circle, back to where I need to be. And He’s still not done with me and my high-school-sweetheart. He’s sending us on another adventure, this time half-way across the world to Oman. But first we’re going to start in New Jersey.
After spending most of my life in the California desert, New Jersey is a delight. First of all, I’m living in an executive suite with one bedroom … no extra bedrooms or sleeping bags on the floor. I’m not sure I know how to handle that. However, I can say I’m sleeping like a baby. Plus I have a maid! Can you believe it? Now if I can just find a cook ….
My first day here I took a walk and stopped on a hill overlooking a cemetery. It was full of Eastern Orthodox crosses and names I can’t spell let alone pronounce. I looked up over the trees and there was the Empire State building and the New York skyline just like it looks in the movies. Later that day were on the highway (so far I haven’t seen a freeway) and we came over another hill and there was New York lit up like you see in all the posters. And down below was a ribbon of red lights … bumper to bumper traffic. Yes, New York is just like you see and hear about.
New Jersey is a contradiction. The towns are old with 3 story buildings, lots of brick and stone and graffiti. But there are trees on each side of the highway. Not tall pine trees like I’m used to seeing in Colorado but thin, tall ones, so thick this desert rat calls them a forest. In the country they have tons of deer. On one trip Gary saw 10 dead deer on the side of the highway. Our friend who lived here for a while had a black bear, coyotes and even 2 wolves in his driveway. And all of that about 30 minutes from Clifton and New York, with its wall to wall traffic.
I have not witnessed the rudeness most people talk about from people on the East Coast. I’ve had excellent customer service and friendly smiles … if I can get them to look at me. I’m working on a trick where I make noise and they have to look at me. But I still think they’re friendly. They have to be, they use their car horn just to say hi!
Next time I’ll tell you about antique shopping in places where the buildings are older than the antiques and the variety of communities. And I’ll have pictures!