Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm In A New Jersey State of Mind

After days of sitting inside, waiting for the snow to melt, the trees to be cleared, and school to reopen, I think about living in New Jersey and, despite it all, I love living here. I love our home state, even with it's painfully cold winters, and snowstorms that come in, well, October. 

No state is without it's problems, but it seems that through all of the absurdly and unfortunate weather changes we've experienced, not only has New Jersey weathered (no pun intended) the storm, but we've come together and gotten stronger. Denville gathered for a special day, just a few weeks ago, to raise money for the towns and their residents, and made close to $200,000 in just one day. "I love Denville" bracelets were for sale, buttons that said, "Denville's Back" were sold, along with t-shirts (with all the profits going back to the town) at Surprises In Store that said on the front "Denville's Back" and on the back, "Now Back Denville."

It's been amazing.

This storm has been no different. People with power have invited friends and family who lost power, to stay with them. In Mountain Lakes, both the Mountain Lakes Club and the high school became shelters, as did Denville's Morris Knolls High School. W and I got out briefly for dinner on Halloween night (as all local towns, save for Boonton, postponed Halloween to either Friday or Saturday), and the pub we visited, The Second Half, was packed with people we knew, most of whom had no power at home. There was such a community spirit, it was unbelievable.

As I've written before, now is the time (if ever) to shop locally as much as possible. Dash of Thyme Gourmet has lots of staples that you can buy at their shop instead of the supermarket (like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pancake batter, maple syrup, hot cocoa, jams, and more), the hardware store has what Home Depot has, but with a local touch. There's the liquor store, the ice cream shop, shoe store, and more. Surprises In Store has great hostess and home gifts, gifts for teachers and more. 

To show my Jersey pride, I bought these Cat Studio products from them the day after they reopened from the flood. You should get yours, too. They have lots of local items, including blankets that have "Mountain Lakes" and "Denville" on them, along with pictures from town. They have Ward's Downtown Denville at Dawn postcard by the register, and lots of local items that you will love (along with everything Vera Bradley). 

Celebratory Cat Studio silky pillow, from Surprises In Store.
I also love the state towel. I have it hanging in my kitchen, on the oven bar. I love it. Might have to get myself a few of them to rock the Jersey pride.

Stinky photo, super towel.
Please, please, please shop locally this year. If you are reading this from a town far away from here, please shop in your own town and support small business owners. Vote with your dollars. It matters.

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