In a million years I never thought I would say this ... but I love New Jersey.
Today my daughter The Heir and I went to Absecon Inlet for a short beach day. It was so festive! There were kids everywhere, swimming and having a good time, and the parents and grandparents were all so chill. Someone near us was playing old school rap on a boom box, and folks were grilling burgers right on the beach. I volunteered to photograph not one but two cute couples with the surf in the background.
Speaking of surf, on the Jersey Shore the waves can knock you right off your feet, face first into the sand. But if you live in Jersey long enough, you learn where to go. Absecon is an inlet. The waves don't crash. They swish lightly to shore. Today the water was so clear that Cloacina gladly accepted an invitation from Oshun to check out the awesome school of dolphins that cavorted just beyond the pier.
Regarding the dolphins, almost everyone thought they were seeing a shark. Including me. Looked just like the fin you see in all the Jaws movies. But the lifeguards weren't perturbed. So I went to the guard stand, and the conversation went something like this:
Anne: Um, should I be concerned about the fin I just saw out there?
Lifeguard: That's a dolphin. Sharks swim under water.
Anne: I should know that! Geez, maybe we all ought to take tests before they let us out on the beach, huh?
Lifeguard: Nah, that's what I'm here for.
Sweetness and light, don't you think? And that same guard had to streak into the water two times to rescue little tots who got in over their heads. That's what he's there for!
The sky was bright blue, the water was bright blue, and there was a boat named after The Spare.
You'll just have to believe me. I couldn't zoom.
I always take the back roads to Atlantic City, or Asbury Park, or whatever beach I visit. Today, driving home from AC, we passed roadside farm stands full of peaches and corn and crabs, and then we drove through the peach orchards, and then we drove through the blueberry farms, and the trees and the earth smelled so sweet. Everything is green and ripe, and the sun didn't set until 8:30.
Years and years ago, New Jersey had a tourist campaign called "New Jersey and You: Perfect Together." The masot's name was Perfy. Oh, I used to belittle this weird-looking thing, and the whole smelly state! I'm a proud Appalachian, after all.
Just now I'm feeling that New Jersey and I could be perfect together.
You see, across the street from Absecon Inlet beach is a high-end shore house that had a TRUMP flag (and a big one) flying from the second floor. And across the street at the beach, Heir and I were almost the only white people, and all of us had our backs to that damn flag!
Did you ever notice that the sea shore smells different from the rest of the world? Of course you've noticed that! Well, the rest of New Jersey is starting to smell pretty good too. We've all turned our backs on Donald Trump, and soon Chris Christie will be history as well.
Then it may well be perfect. Perfect.