Friday, August 28, 2015

Norman Rockwell Lived Here

Southern New Jersey has gotten a bad rap. This place is nothing like what I expected it to be. Most of what I thought I knew came from TV or the internet- not the most reliable of sources. It's kinda like how everyone thinks all Texans ride a horse and wear cowboy hats to work.  Great imagery, but not based in fact. When we started looking for a house, one of the first things that struck me was how picturesque all the little towns were here. Not that Texas doesn't have little towns, but I'm not sure "picturesque" is the word I would use to describe Whitesboro, TX.  Nothing against the sweet folks in Whitesboro - but we all know it's true.  

One of these adorable little towns is Medford, NJ. It's just a bit down the road from me and looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. It has brick lined sidewalks and tree lined streets. I've driven through it at least two dozen times to get to the grocery store, but have never had the time to stop and look around. Things have finally settled down a bit, so I thought I'd go check out some of the shops.

 In particular, this baby right here. This place has been screaming my name. Look at all that great stuff outside. How could you not want to stop and dig through all this?  They sell every type of thing I love- windows, doors, chairs, mirrors, chandeliers. 

 They seem to do it all. They repair and sell furniture. They organize estate sales and offer classes. Just look inside this shop. I mean, really, could it get any more darling?

I struck up a conversation with the girl behind the counter (I know- shocking! Cindy talking to absolute strangers?? Why, that sounds nothing like her.) Anywho, she was very friendly and I told her we had moved from Austin, but now lived in Shamong.  She said, "Well, you know that makes you a Piney."  

Uhhh..... excuse me?

It turns out "Piney" refers to the fact that I live near the Pine Boroughs of New Jersey. It also seems that Piney's are more "outdoorsy" than their city neighbors in Medford. 

She tippy toed around it for a bit and finally just cut to the chase. "I guess you could say Piney's are considered the rednecks of this area."

And there it was. Now it made perfect sense. This was the reason I had felt so welcomed by my new neighbors. This was why I had felt so at ease in a state 1700 miles away from my home in Texas. The state's name may have been different, but the people weren't. The folks in my neck of the woods were all the things that make the word redneck a compliment and I had been the one to benefit from it. So now, if you ask me if I live in the sticks, I'll have to say no - I actually live in the Pines.

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