Clinton Township Newsletter

June 2013 Clinton Township Newsletter

Clinton Township Newsletter, Clinton New Jersey, May 2013 Issue

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C L I N TO N TOW N S H I P N ews l e t t e r June "It's passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election." – Margaret Thatcher J u l i e F ly n n , E d i t o r 2013 "Stuff Be Gone" by ® EDITOR'S COLUMN Ruth Keesing I've reached a significant turning point in my life… and none too soon, either. I often purchase clothing on the spur of the moment. If a Tog Shop catalog's arrival coincides with a temporary blue mood (caused by nothing in particular) I have a need to console (reward?) myself with a new shirt or jacket. Often the items remain on their hangers for months on end because they were never designed to be worn by an 85 year old who shrinks an inch a minute and never looked good in Kelly green from the get-go. But, last week when I realized several items had never been worn and never would be, I removed them from my closet and bureau drawers and placed them oh-so-tenderly in a bag for the thrift shop. Did you understand that? They were ostensibly "new" and I was able to discard them with nary a backward glance. We were a mismatch from the get-go, my Father and I. Dad: strapping, (6'4") healthy, athletic, erudite, fearless, alpha-male, in control at all times. Me: the youngest and smallest of the family, a fearful couch potato who preferred comic books over exercise, Cheetos and Twinkies over vegetables. He loved math and science – I did anything (and everything) to avoid them. No challenge seemed insurmountable, he thought his kids were invincible. He's taught me so much over the years. Here's just a small portion. Maybe I am preparing for the hereafter where scoop necks and cropped pants may be in style for Seniors. Maybe I am thinking about the time when my kids must sort through my things and freak out over 20 pair of LL Bean slacks with elastic waistbands. Shoes that don't accommodate orthodics are so uncomfortable that my toes turn numb after wearing them for half an hour. So perhaps some lady with a 7 narrow foot is going to leap with joy when my shoe windfall belongs to her. Compassion: Growing up in Alabama in the 30's, 40's and 50's, Dad was unafraid to speak up for civil rights, at a time when doing so could bring a burning cross to your yard (or worse). When I was kid, he helped the homeless. Years later, he traveled to Africa and third-world countries to give medical help to those sorely in need. Now retired, he does prison ministry, spending his day with rapists and murderers. He tells me they're really sweet, decent people. From tossing excess clothing to tossing excess stuff in general was a predictable transition. Who really needs five frying pans that have to be scoured clean? That's why God made non-stick ones. I bought a green one shown on TV and even burnt grilled cheese slides off effortlessly. Away with that mug that reads "I Love My Boss" leftover from my corporate America life – a gift from an editor who worked for me and had high hopes of advancement. I now only possess 8 white t-shirts. Fearlessness: He's been charged by a bull elephant in Africa, but said it was "a fake charge, so it was fine." He was a first responder in the bin Laden's bombing of the American Embasssy in Africa, but said that "I wasn't actually in the building when it happened, so it's okay." He originally wanted to be sent to Viet Nam so that, as a doctor, he could be of the most service, but felt that it was "probably for the best" that he was sent to Germany instead. Giving medical aid to both the Serbs and the Croates during their war in the 90's, he said about both sides, "They're such nice people, I can't understand why they're fighting." There's no excuse for "wimping out," though, goodness knows, I tried. "I can't do it, Dad!" I'd whine, when faced with, well, most every obstacle. "You CAN do it." was always his (slightly frustrated) response. As a result, his words have reverberated in my subconcious ever since, at every board meeting I've been to, every interview I've gone on, every pitch I've had to give, every baby I've delivered. That "bull-elephant" situation only looks as though it's going to trample me to a pulp (I hope). Love of Adventure: Our family vacations were spent white-water rafting, mountain climbing with bears; snorkling with sharks, canoeing amongst gators, hiking next to all manner of poisonous snakes; and snow-skiing. A couple of years ago, when I asked my Stepmother about the cast on her hand, she replied, "Well, your father and I were zip lining in New Zealand and..." I cut her off . "You needn't say more – that just about sums it up." Dad was in his early 70's at the time. What you must comprehend is that I am getting rid of perfectly good merchandise! Anyone can discard a torn dress or a chipped platter or a pitcher that leaks. But what a challenge to get rid of the good stuff. I've been tricked with "One Day Sale", "No Shipping Costs" and "You are one of our favorite customers" promotions for decades. Been there. Done that. How to curse creatively: You haven't heard cursing until you've met an Alabama boy. "Good Night in the Morning!!!" "DagNabbit!!!" "I Swannee!!!" As a child, all of dad's favorite, colorful curses left me puzzled. When I hear my New Jersey kids say "DANG-IT!!!," I think of it as a bit of their Southern DNA coming to the surface and I can't help but smile. I find shopping "on line" to be more fun than when I was first "in line" at Filene's Basement in Boston during college years. But restraint is the word now that I've turned the corner of excess. You can hear an echo in my semi-empty garage and attic and basement. The less said the better for those of you who actually rent a storage facility to keep the stuff you will never use again. If this column inspires you to de-clutter your life, then my job is done. Restraint: As teenagers, one of my brothers whispered to the rest of us, "Watch THIS!!!" As Dad, returning from a long day of work, came up the steps, my (6'2") Brother faked a karate kick to Dad's jaw. Problem was, he made contact, sending Dad reeling backwards down the stairs. I honestly don't remember what happened after that, but the fact that my Brother is still alive is, in my opinion, a testament to my Father's patience. Start with one of several hundred cookbooks in the pantry and proceed to your shoe collection Pass Go, Collect $200 and move on to a significant turning point in YOUR life! J u n e How to love my kids: Dad's (and Mom's) constant refrain to me was: "You're a good kid. I love you. I'm proud of you. You have a good head on your shoulders. I know you'll do me proud." So, thanks Dad (and Mom)! I love you too. Happy Father's Day! Please, stay away from the zip line. 2 0 1 3 –Julie Flynn 1

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