Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Little Town

Great to be back in New Jersey for a while, especially today when the temperature is 82, the humidity is about zero, the clouds are high and puffy, and the birds are singing.

So now that you've got the picture, here's what I want to tell you about living in this small town. It's not that I have anything against city dwelling. In fact, I'd hate living too far away from city civilization as I know it. So North Jersey, as we're known here, is a perfect spot to spend the summer, especially this summer. On the train line to NYC, plus there are still a few places where Everybody Knows Your Name.

Like the library where I worked. Make that libraries. I popped into my public library to do a little research this morning and discovered my former backdoor neighbor is now the children's librarian. 500 children's tags lined the front shelves, each one representing a young reader enrolled in the summer reading program. How can we possibly consider cutting funding to libraries? This one was packed with readers!

A lot of my former work colleagues are still there and of course I couldn't resist sharing that this July has been one of my favorite months ever. So many new, wonderful things!

They already have me signed up to do an Author Visit when Scholastic publishes my book. I warned them not to bake the cookies just yet. Book birthing can take a while.

Then off to the deli for a Turkey Sloppy Joe, a treat known only to New Jerseyans. If you don't know this sandwich, click here for pictures and history. And no, there is no ground beef or fork involved.

As I crossed the Post Office Plaza, one of my outstanding, most favorite library volunteers from my 10 years at Kent Place School, in the next town over, waved. She just happened to be driving by and we promised to meet for coffee and a catch-up very soon.

My former next-door neighbor joined me as we crossed the library walkway. Her two boys, all grown up now, remembered my dog Barley. How he used to eat grass in the backyard. That's the kind of thing that would stick with a 4-year-old, isn't it?

Did I say this is a small town? Does a population of 20,000 qualify or is it the feeling you get when crossing Main Street? All the strollers, the shoppers walking home, the recognizable police officer directing traffic turning left out of Kings Supermarket. Flags flying, flowers in boxes, sun shining.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are.

Related post: A Bright September Day


Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

I am at home this weekend and so grateful for that. I'm in the country with small towns nearby if I need a library book. But I think I'll stay right here and read the ones I have on hand already.

Love the description of the NJ Sloppy Joe. Never heard of it but hey, I can make that myself. Right?

Okay maybe not quite like the real thing but I can try.

Lee Stokes Hilton said...

This was such fun reading -- thank you! I think you completely captured the fun and flavor of these little towns, which maintain their own individual personalities despite living shoulder-to-shoulder with the next towns over.

Augusta Scattergood said...

Sloppy joes are actually pretty easy to make. You can do it!

And I know what you mean, just need a good book, a sunny day, a few flowers and all's well with the world, right?