More on the Jersey Shore

I spent some more time at the Jersey Shore.  I was on the Barrier Island (funny, I never called it that in all the years that I've been going to shore and staying in the same little town) Sunday and Monday.

Sunday night, unable to sleep, I sat up and watched the lightening flash across the bay.  The sky would light up and in the distance I could hear the booming.  And not much else.  There was the occasional sound of a car or two on Highway 35 (don't know if it was North or South).  But it was not frequent and it made me wonder what it must have been like back when residents were allowed to stay.  Calm and yet eerie all at the same time.  Even with the flashing of lightening, the evening was suitably dark.  It may be summer, but there fewer residents than any summer I have ever seen.  (And as much as I hate to admit it, I've been spending time in the small community of Normandy Beach for approximately 40 years.  Most of those years on the Brick Township strange as it seems the town is split in two, with 8th Ave- 6th being in Brick Township and 5th - 1st being in Toms River.  Why?  I have no clue.)  The quiet is great for sleeping (when I finally got around to it), but so atypical of a summer night at the shore.

How un-recovered the shore really is was evident in my morning walk.  While I do go out early (before 8 AM), I saw very few people out and about.  As I went on my "tour" of the town, I still found that there were more homes without cars in the "driveways" (because if you're from the area you know there are no drive ways, just front yards with stones) than with.  There are also ALOT of homes with For Sale or Sold signs on them.  As I walked along the people I did see were mostly construction workers, and there were many of them.  More workers I'd say than there are actual people living in town.

I walked by Barnegat Bay and I walked ocean side.  The bay and the ocean are as beautiful as ever.  To me they will always bring peace and beauty to my life.  Both are still wonderful places to go and spend time this summer.

But the ugliness that was Sandy still surrounds the area.  The beaches ARE open, but not all.  (For example, in my little part of the world, Normandy Beach, the beach is open only in a few places and only 4th Avenue provides a safe haven with lifeguards.)  Among the surf and sand a partial homes.  At the end of one block where there might usually be a sign announcing the rules and regulations of the beach there is now a pail hanging on a post that has "Nails and Glass" written on it.  (There is definitely an uptick in punctured tires this year and I understand the hardest hit are the US Postal trucks that trek the island delivering what mail there is to those who have managed to return.)

Summer has come to the shore.  But this year the sounds of summer are a little different.  Instead of laughter and chatter there is the sound of hammering and sawing.  Instead of SUVs full of families, there are pick up trucks full of lumber and other building supplies.

The Jersey Shore IS open for business.  But this year (and probably for years to come), it is not business as usual.


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