Category Archives: Courage

New Jersey in the Rearview Mirror

One week from today I will realize a long-delayed dream of moving away from New Jersey. When I moved here in 2000 from Iowa, it was with the intention of staying at

LifeIsHOTBlog, Brad W. Smith photographer, edge of the ocean along the Jersey shore, hand-printed words in sand Good-bye New Jersey

A fond farewell to a place that has provided more experiences than I ever could have imagined.

least three years, and no more than five. Here it is 13 years and six months later. Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.

I looked forward to the move to New Jersey for a job in New York that I enjoyed – and the cultural diversity and experiences that are only possible when you live in a true melting pot area. If you’ve ever lived in this part of the country, you know what I mean.

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HallowThanksMas

I am not a fan of HallowThanksMas – retailer obsession with rushing us from one holiday to the next and the buy, Buy BUY! messages that rival the shouting of Wall Street stock traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

glass and plastic bottles and boxes, cardboard boxes, other refuse

We choose whether our holidays are about consumption and a hollow ‘thanks much,’ or use the time to renew relationships.

With all of this focus on consumption, it’s easy to turn this time of year into hollow thanks much. Continue reading

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We’re All Stronger Than the Storm

Earlier this week here in New Jersey and in the region we marked the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. The news was filled with stories about how

two-story brown clapboard sided house still standing but broken in two pieces when the ground underneath was washed away.

When our lives seem broken in two, we can live in our memories of what was, or we can work out a plan to move forward to what will be.

while much of the shoreline and the communities along the shore have been restored, much work remains. An ad campaign earlier this year proclaimed that New Jersey and its citizens are “stronger than the storm” and featured the rebuilding efforts and the determination of those most affected to not let Sandy be the defining moment in their lives, the moment marking their turn from happy and successful to downtrodden and defeated.

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