Clinton Township Newsletter

July 2016 Issue of the Clinton Township Newsletter

Clinton Township Newsletter, Clinton New Jersey, May 2013 Issue

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 24

1 J u l y 2 0 1 6 July 2016 Jie Fly, Edit Jie Fly, Edit Since 1982 CLINTON TOWNSHIP Newsletter ® CLINTON TOWNSHIP Newsletter ® One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice For All. In 1971 we moved to Clinton Township in Hunterdon County because we wanted to live in the "COUNTRY." Our 1.25 acre plot of land was located on a cul-de-sac and, although there was a house on one side, we were otherwise surrounded by woods. In the back a stream trickled by and across the street tall pines rose majestically. We loved the serenity, the privacy, even the mild inconvenience of having to drive four miles for a loaf of bread or a quart of milk. For many years we were infatuated with being country folk. And then one day a "For Sale" sign appeared on the land next door. Soon after, another one was stuck on a pine tree across the street. I was more than a little unhappy, and confess to pulling the signs down after dark in hopes that no one would know there was available land and should therefore not intrude on our revered territory. Well, if a sign is there, they will come! And they did. And they bought the land next door and across the street. And they built homes and they moved in and spoiled everything. I planted a row of fast growing evergreens on one side so I would one day be unable to see the house next door. And I resolved to be less than cordial to the newcomers. But it wasn't easy. Amazingly, the family next door was NICE. And the couple across the street was NICE. And there were kids who were NICE. Reluctantly, I conceded that maybe it wasn't the end of the world after all and, as the evergreens that I planted grew taller and wider, the more I wanted to look around and over them to observe our neighbor's activities. I started to worry when they weren't home on time on a snowy night, or if the dog barked uncharacteristically long. We exchanged sugar and eggs, and picked up each other's mail and newspapers during vacation times. We weren't just neighbors anymore. We were friends. The Blizzard of 1996 brought into sharper focus our dependence on these neighbors. For one thing, we are now 25 years older than when we moved in – not so agile – not so sturdy anymore. They phoned. "How are you?" "Do you need help?" "Do you have enough food?" The teenager next door (whom I assumed, in error, would only be successful as a player of loud music) came over and shoveled a path to our outside office through four feet drifts. His dad shoveled the front steps so we could open the door and at least make it to the driveway where we were hopeful someone with a plow would enable us to emerge before April. How comforting and reassuring that we were not living in this house surrounded only by woods and a stream. Instead, we were surrounded only by caring, concerned neighbors without whom I think we'd have headed for a nearby condo years ago. They enhance life at 29 Charlotte Drive in more ways than they will ever know. So I guess this is a confession of sorts. Was I ever wrong. Was my thinking ever distorted – my assumptions off the wall. You really can teach an old dog new tricks. Of course, I'm not jumping with glee over that new development of 30 homes behind us now. But it's possible they're NICE people – maybe with NICE kids. As I pass their homes on my daily walk around, I figure they'll be here lots longer than I will... and living in the country will always be pretty good! – Julie Fl�nn – from 1996 – * ** How Social Networking Kills The Creative Spirit - J.T. Ellison I've spent most of my life running towards creative pursuits and running away from analytical activity (like the song says, "Don't know much about geography, don't know much trigonometry, don't know much about algebra, don't know what a slide rule is for..."). When I took a private web design class several years ago, the instructor said, "I'm going to teach you to write code as well as how to design the site, so you'll know how the website works, inside and out." I should have said "Please don't." Instead, I agreed and all of those lessons (reminding me of the obsolete computer classes from way back in college) were lost on me. What is creativity? According to Mark Batey, PhD*, "Creativity is the capacity within individuals to develop ideas for the purpose of solving problems and exploiting opportunities. Creativity is a capacity – it is something that we can all learn to use more effectively. It allows us to develop ideas to solve problems in different ways and to spot, adapt to, embrace and capture opportunities." I find it much easier to be creative when: • I'm under the gun. Deadlines are actually my friend because, if I know it's due tomorrow, I will probably come up with a solution today. • I've taken a sabbatical. Whether it's for a couple of minutes, a couple of hours or a couple of days (I've never taken a couple of months off), getting away from creative responsibilities helps clear my mind, which helps creative ideas come to the forefront. Sleeping on a problem actually works for me. • I switch it up. When I undertake creative pursuits other than vocational, my overall creativity is enhanced. Grappling with a work problem? Try putting brush and paint to canvas, or shaping something out of clay. A trip to a museum or gallery works wonders for me as well. • I exercise – Walking not only helps me stay healthy, but it gets the creative juices flowing as well. Many times the best creative ideas have come to me when taking my morning walk. What doesn't work for me, creativity-wise: • Negativity and harsh judgement – In my opinion, these are the death of creative thought. I try to keep an open mind accordingly and not be too hard on myself for any of my creative attempts, or those of others. • Stress! Deadlines don't stress me, it's all the other stuff that does. • Social Media! Checking the posts of my friends on Facebook (50 years' worth!), while totally fascinating, keeps me from allowing creative ideas to surface. Recently I read a very interesting article on this subject by J.T. Ellison in the NY Times**. I'll share it with you on Facebook. I hope that you (and I) can all have a summer that's free of stress, low on social media, and full of creativity. Enjoy your July!

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Clinton Township Newsletter - July 2016 Issue of the Clinton Township Newsletter