Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Thursday, August 27, 2015


I often wish I could go back to Runnemede and live again like I lived in the 40s, 50s, and early 60s. 

Nostalgia gets me sometimes.  Then I think of all the things that have been invented in my lifetime that have been life-savers, sort of.

Pantyhose -- never did like pantyhose.  I preferred the stockings that had to be held up with a garter belt, but then garter belts disappeared for about 40 years, and the old ones didn't fit any more (you know, weight gain), so I was forced to wear pantyhose.  The conundrum was:  Should I also wear panties with pantyhose?  I always did, and add a girdle to that.  You see where I'm coming from.  Girdles used to be outfitted with hooks for stockings.  The hooks also disappeared form girdles. 

Microwave oven -- best update in my kitchen.  I microwave veggies, cold coffee, water (to a boil), and other things I can't think of right now.

Computers -- from early Apples to very fast laptops to Kindles (which are the best because I love to read).

Smart phones -- I'm too dumb to figure out most of the stuff they provide.

Cheap phone prices -- used to be that a long-distance call could run up to $25 in 10 minutes. 

Digital cameras -- you have to love them.  And if we had had them when I was loving my sweetheart from afar, we could have exchanged pictures and for nothing but the cost of the camera.  We still have Alan's very expensive Nikon, and his father's older German camera -- the brand name escapes me.  Dad did all his own developing.  Pictures were expensive if you were living on $1 per hour which was the minimum wage back in the 60s.

The nostalgia is not how things have changed, however.  I think of the girlfriends, the boys in my classes (could I call them friends -- they weren't boyfriends, but they were boy friends).  Runnemede has changed some, but not a whole lot.  Oh the stores are under different ownership, some stores have disappeared altogether, but the main street -- the Pike -- is still the same, just more congested.

I will be going back for my 55th high school reunion next September.  I can't wait.  I hope I am mobile enough to take some pictures of the town. 

Happy memories.


I was married on this day (August 27) in 1966 to my high-school sweetheart.  (I wish I could find the picture of Alan and me on that day, but I can't.)

Alan only attended Triton for one year, and for the one year he was missing from my high school life, I mourned.  At least I think that's what I did.  He was in Kenya, Africa and there was very little opportunity for communication.  Air letters -- they were blue, tissue thin, cost 12 cents for air mail, and held only one page of communications.  Not at all like today with instant messaging anywhere in the world, Skype, etc.  That would have been so very nice.

I spent hours at the post office, going twice a day to check our family's mail box to see if I had received a letter from him.  Most days I didn't, then I would get several all at once.  Mail from Kenya to USA was iffy at best.  And I suppose it was the same on the other end, although Alan never complained.

When Alan returned to the US in 1963, we picked up where we left off -- sweethearts once again.  Three years later we were married.  We had to get married at a time when his parents were home from a five-year missionary stint in Kenya, and that happened to be in 1965-66 (late '65). 

FINALLY, we were getting married.  Alan was still at Rutgers.  I was out of college.  So I worked after we got married and we lived in married student housing while he finished his bachelors in civil engineering, then work on and got his masters. 

It's been happy most of the time.  We had financial difficulties for part of our years and that was hard, but with three children the happiness was augmented. 

I love my husband.  I almost lost him in 2001 from bone-marrow cancer, but he's been in remission for 16 years.  His oncologist says it's a miracle.  He was given a year, maybe two with treatment.  He beat the odds.  I thank God every day that he is still with me. 

I really, really love that man.


Another family saying (or rather one of mom's sayings)

Mom didn't have as many sayings as my father, but one I remember because I used it the other day; that saying is "I have a yen for...." (fill in the dots).  I had a yen for a pizza, but I don't like to order pizzas and I don't like to go pick up pizzas and I don't like to make pizzas, so I did without.  BUT, I did have a yen for one.

That's all folks.