where the family tree don’t fork

I live in New Jersey.  Now I know what you’re picturing when you hear “New Jersey”: big cities, lots and lots of people, gangs, the Thruway, garbage, the mafia, etc.  This is not the New Jersey I live in.  I live in rural New Jersey.  No, this is not an oxymoron, it really exists!  Way up in the Northwest corner of the state is farmland and mountains and lakes and…people without teeth!??  You see, while the rest of the country laughs at New Jersey, New Jersians laugh at us!  According to them, my county has more cows than people, family trees that don’t fork, and the dirt roads are full of lifted pick-ups with gun racks and dead deer hanging out the back.  In other words, we are a bunch of rednecks!

Okay, so there might be a teeny tiny bit of truth to that.  If you drive far enough down a county road and turn by the barn you just might find a house or two with 4 cars on blocks out front.  I do see an awful lot of flannel and sleeveless T-shirts at the local fair, but really we are not all rednecks.  It’s a beautiful county full of people who want to live “in the country”.  Yes, if you are from Kansas I know you are laughing at that statement but it’s really what  people in this county think and, for New Jersey, we are the country!  Everyone in the state thinks we are county folk.  A good example of that is any time a black bear is found wandering around a more populated area of the state, the evening news reports that the bear was relocated to an “out-of-the-way” location where it would not harm anyone.  That location is my county!

Well, sometimes you just have to go with the stereotype!  This past weekend the weather was beautiful so we decided to enjoy the day with some good friends.  And what better way to enjoy a day than with guns, quads, and trucks down on the local farm!  Yes, we were Jeff Foxworthy poster children!  Rednecky?  Sure, but so much fun!  The kids all got to target shoot and then drive my friend’s quad.  My husband and his friend went four wheeling up and down rutted roads along a ridge.  We finished the day with a hike up the ridge where we hung out on a stone patio complete with chairs and table that someone built using large pieces of slate from a stone wall, eating Oreos and Mike and Ike’s (healthy is so overrated!).

We headed back down as the sun was setting (which was 4pm, so depressing!).  My older two children took one last turn on the quads, so excited  to drive  by themselves, while the younger kids picked up shell casings from the ground and checked out the bullet holes in the pumpkins.  Yes, it was a country-boy kind of day but so much fun!  My daughter even commented that it was one of her favorite days.  The day allowed for fresh air and exercise, family time, and the ability to teach independence and responsibility to our children.  Oh yeah, and Oreos!  What’s better than that?  Just please don’t tell my mom, she would be so embarrassed…

Now off to barbecue some Spam on the grill…

7 thoughts on “where the family tree don’t fork

  1. Cool! I lived in Maryland for 40 years, but was born in Connecticut. I now live in Tennessee with my fiance’, who grew up here. He calls me the Redneck Yankee. Hee, hee! Oh, and BBQ Spam is pretty darn good!

  2. Hey, sounds like it was a great day out, an like the “rigs”. But I must say, was just about to get some brekkie, but might need to wait a bit after reading about fried spam. Crikey, I’ve had that on some (many) hiking trips over the years…stomach now in turmoil 😉

  3. Sounds like heaven! We lived for many years in Wilmington, Delaware, which is kind of a suburb of Philly and New Jersey–it doesn’t matter where you are, you can get to “the country” in no time at all. Love your photos!

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