Midway through my first pregnancy, my obgyn announced she would be closing her practice in New Jersey and moving out west. Lucky for me, her closing date fell just shortly after my due date. At my 40-week visit and with just five days left before the close of her practice, we weighed our options on how to proceed with my fickle “cherub.” At my 34-week mark, my cherub decided she wanted to appear early and sent my husband and I into a panic. She never arrived and I was sent home. Apparently the cherub was just testing our response time. But I digress.
It was during this 40-week visit, that my obgyn and I shared a conversation that still resonates in my head.
With her cross-country move just days away, we talked about the city she was moving to and the practice she would be joining. With malpractice insurance so much more affordable everywhere other than New Jersey and the breathtaking landscape that surrounded the new city she would call home, you couldn’t help but feel her excitement and joy. I mused at how I would love to pick up and move somewhere completely foreign to me. To this she responded with the following: “You are a jersey girl. Most of you may leave for college, but in the end you return and never leave.” She had an interesting point. With legs akimbo, I mentally ran through the list of all my family and friends. She was right. Most of us did, in fact, leave for college only to return and start our families back in good ole New Jersey.
After some thought, I explained to her, “But it’s Jersey. Without traffic everything is 55 minutes maybe 65 minutes away, tops! Why leave?” To this she laughed and agreed.
Aside from the numerous vacations both nationally and internationally, I have always lived in New Jersey – even during my college years. I grew up in a state wedged between two major cities with access to some of the most beautiful beaches, abundant culture (good and bad), interesting politics (good and bad), rich history and so much more – all within a reasonable distance.
These days, on any given Saturday in the fall, we are less than 55 minutes away from Battleview Orchards where we apple and pumpkin pick under the browning leaves (they also have THE best cider).
On any given Saturday in the winter, we are less than 65 minutes away from skiing at Mountain Creek a.k.a. Vernon Valley (that is, if I skied. I am more about being fireside in the lodge).
On any given Saturday in the Spring, we are less than 55 minutes from walking the beautiful trails along the Delaware Water Gap (which we plan to do should the “activity gods” spare us a free weekend).
On any given Saturdays in the summer, we are less than 35 minutes from the pristine beaches of the NJ shore (nothing stops us from this trip).
I am sure many of you reading this question the timing on my distances, but my accounts are based on “without traffic” which is possible on NJ roadways (between the hours of 3am and 6am).
Two days after my 40-week visit and with my beautiful daughter in my arms, my obgyn smiled at one of her last babies delivered in New Jersey and happily closed up shop for the West. My husband and I gazed admiringly at our perfect New Jersey daughter and happily sunk our feet into good ole NJ soil.
We are here. AND for the foreseeable future, there is no other place we want to be.
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog by centraljerseyworkingmoms, a New Jersey mom.
Photo credit given to NJ Skylands Visitor.