You never know what you have until you lose it.

These past 4 weeks have been insane. It seems like such a whirlwind.  It started on the last weekend of October, a kind of nervous energy that was in the air regarding the upcoming Hurricane.  Nothing seemed to get done due to the nervousness that was in the air. That nervousness was well justified. Many of our lives as we knew it, were to be changed forever; especially those who lived on the Barrier Islands of NJ.  I do not live on the Island, but I have been vacationing there for the last 23 years with my family.

It all started in 1990, when I went to visit my Boyfriend at the time.  He and his family were on their yearly vacation and I went to visit.  It was an eventful trip, as I got the chance to meet his family that would be my own the following year. Not only would I share their name, but the Ortley Vacations, year after year. I have to admit, being close to the “riff raff” that would frequent the next town over,  was not exactly one of the reasons I liked Ortley. It was the memories we, as a family had created year after year. My kids would not even consider going to any other beach in the world. EVER. This is their beach and they were never going anywhere else. Bozza Beach week is the official name of our vacation , and now that is has been turned upside down, it has been a bitter pill to swallow, watching the homes we frequented, get filled with water, one of them even smashed into pieces.

Many of those homes now, including the home of our Aunt and Uncle, are soon to be leveled. 7 feet high mounds of personal belongings, claimed by mold, in the after math of Sandy, are now left on every street. Friends are reunited and met by tears of joy and sorrow.  The human spirit of those in the area reaching out to help is a welcome salve to the wound that has been inflicted to this hard hit area.  It will never be the same. Ever.  The spirit of the town affected is still strong and is determined to come back and rebuild. Not everyone has the same resolve and new neighbors may be in the future, but there is one common thread that runs through the Shores of NJ and NY. We will rise again!

Gratitude Challenge Day #3

Today, I am grateful for vacations and family memories at the Shore. All my life, I have vacationed at the Jersey Shore. I have so many memories there.

I am grateful to my parents for the gift of travel. Although I love the Jersey Shore, I do have a piece of my heart in Ecuador and I am grateful for the memories of the time I have spent there.

I am grateful for the gift of always loving my job and being my own boss. It has been a challenge, but mostly a joy.

 

Loudly yours,

Alicia

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