I decided to take you all on a journey of my summer adventures and memories from an older gal who was born in the early 1950’s. Are you ready?
I was born in the northern part of New Jersey, USA to two parents and an older brother by three years. I do not remember that town or house because we moved when I was toddling to what Jersey-ites refer to as – The Shore.
We moved into a starter neighborhood – small and simple ranch style homes for those just starting out in the world of home ownership. I wonder if my mom thought she would spend the rest of her life in that home and neighborhood.
It was a great place to grow up. Neighbors were friendly and life was simple. Unfortunately for us, we experienced a tragedy when I was four-ish. My dad had been ill and passed away that summer. The photos I have prior to his death were all smiles and good times. After, such sad faces. It was hard on my brothers and I (we had a little brother after moving to this home, four years younger than me) and of course, my mom. She found herself widowed very young and with three children and no close family near by.
But prior to the sadness, summers were awesome. As I said before, I was quite young and memories of the beginnings of this new neighborhood were by photos and some in my own head. I remember everyone talking about a mustard colored house. French’s color of mustard. It was closer to the shore and I know we had a small boat that we would take out crabbing while staying in that little house. I do remember being clothed in a life jacket and sitting in the boat with a basket or two and being told to, “Wave to the mustard colored house” as we sped by. I remember bringing crabs back and mom having a pot of water hot and ready to toss them in. Yum
Life went on. Summer time meant that my older brother and I got to go across the street and slip into the woods behind our friend’s house. The Woods! Oh how I loved to play there. There was a creek that meandered through and was shallow enough to wade in the cool clear waters. I remember trails and trees that became my home away from home. I remember going through to the other side and coming out in tall grass that was named – “The Parkway Grass”. It got it’s name because it ran along a small hill aside the Garden State Parkway (a toll road that ran the length of New Jersey). There we could sit in the grass and not be seen. There we could run and trip on a rock that was actually a box turtle that we always took home to feed and cared for. Poor turtles.
I can still clearly picture The Woods in my mind. One of the best things about it was that we rarely ran into another person. I remember only once seeing a man walking on our trails in our Woods! My mom had no reason to worry about us being in there all day. Year after year. We came running when we heard her clapping her hands for us to come home.
So, this weekend is known as Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial Day falls on Monday – always the last full weekend in May. It is a day to honor and remember those who served and are serving in our Armed Forces. But it also marks the official opening of SUMMER! Pools open, beaches open, sales happen! Barbecues are fired up. Ahh. Summer.
Once I started school my life revolved around summer vacations. We were out of school from sometime in June until early September. Beach time, woods time, baseball in the backyard and cookouts and s’mores!
As I grew and became a parent, again my year schedule revolved around summer vacation. Four kids later and then some in college – summer vacation. Living in a tourist, beach town – summer vacation. And now, watching grand daughters while parents go to University – summer vacation! I love it.
I will end this segment here. Next time I want to talk about the traditions of dress codes drilled into my northeastern upbringing that took me a very long time to break.
Until then, enjoy your first weekend of summer. And PLEASE do remember our servicemen and women, those before and those now. I am grateful to them for protecting our nation and serving us and sacrificing so well.
Here is my mom and my brother and me – the cute little one – on the beach prior to our move there.
17 thoughts on “It’s Summertime!!! – My Memories of The Jersey Shore”
you know i love nostalgia, and this is so reminiscent of life in jersey, i LOVE IT!!! those of us born and raised here can soooo relate!
you summed up your life in one post!! i admire that!
you brought me back to lots of memories from my “old” days, far far away, tucked in the back of my mind lol…
enjoy your Memorial weekend…we’re almost ready for the tons of company on their way down lol…pools open and heater’s primed just in case it’s not quite warm enough for the peeps 😉 ….let the summer begin!! bring it on!!!
and will not forget …our Vets and those still serving….they’ve deserve our prayers and thanks for sure God bless them all 😉
Have an awesome weekend! AND great summer at The Shore! 😀
😉 wish you were here to enjoy it with me!! our kids would have a blast!!!
I wish I was too!
Good to think about old times sometimes. Now I know a little more about you as well, including our ages are very close it seems. Lol. Enjoy your long weekend. Lord bless you!!!
and God bless you Levi! Thank you. 🙂
Oh, how well I’m thinking you would fit into our writing group down here…….memories are what we’re after and these are a great picture of life of an American girl growing up. You’d also feel right at home down here in the Bay I’m sure……water everywhere. Very enjoyable post and liked getting to know a bit more about how you got here too!
I want to! We have talked about moving east again when the kids finish their university – and VA is an area we are drawn to….. you never know! 😀 Thank you for your kind and encouraging words.
Ah, now that would be exciting, but you’d have to come on other side of bridge from VA to get here….better to just move on this side of the bridge first…then you can jump right into the club!
hahaha – will keep that in mind!
It was wonderful to go into past with you. I enjoyed and also loved the pictures , you look like your grand daughter in this picture.
Thank you Afsheen! And yes, Penny looks like me a little. 🙂
🙂 … I hope she will be like you when she grew up.
Wonderful memories Cate! Whenever I think of summer, I remember my great grandma. I spent many summers with her in a rural town down south. She lived close to the beach and I would wander off every afternoon to look for seashells and try to catch a fish or two.
And yes! You were such a cutie in that photo! Hugs!
Thanks Jhanis! Aren’t memories like this wonderful! I hope my kids have some and my grand kids.
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