Clinton Township Newsletter

July 2017 Issue of the Clinton Township Newsletter

Clinton Township Newsletter, Clinton New Jersey, May 2013 Issue

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1 J u l y 2 0 1 7 – Julie Fl�nn I find making decisions about every day life to be tiring at best. If I don't venture past the front door, daily decision making is confined to such matters as short or long sleeved shirt, cereal or toast, tub or shower. However, the real challenges occur in the busy world outside my front door. When I make preparations for a weekly trick to Shop Rite in Branchburg you might think I was getting ready for a flight to Orlando or a cruise to the Bahamas. I pack a light lunch, unplug the appliances and put on my walking shoes because I know I'm in for hours of decision making stress. Shop Rite must encompass several acres and could swallow up the Borough of Lebanon with ease. The produce section alone is overwhelming with choices to be made. Organic or non-organic, romaine or arugula, green beans or wax. I can't even see the yams on a distant shelf. I was able to choose two husbands with less angst. There must be over 100 kinds of canned tomato products. And each kind comes in small, medium, large, super and jumbo. Whole, sliced, diced, crushed, pureed, stewed, whole, sauce……..well, you get the idea. Ditto for washing detergents. I'm ready to sit down and rest after tomatoes. There is a bank, a Dunkin' Doughnuts, a cleaner and a florist, but there appears to be a scarcity of lounge chairs for weary, aging shoppers. The salad bar presents more decision making. I would settle for lettuce or slaw and eventually get ready to make a choice when I spot the Chinese takeout nearby. I could get chicken and broccoli or won ton soup or noodles or …….Or maybe just go home and make a less expensive lunch of a peanut butter and banana sandwich. But no, because there are hundreds of containers of "fully prepared" entrees. They all but reach out and grab me by the hand so I fill my shopping cart with enough stuff that I won't have to cook a meal from scratch until Spring 2018. When I was little girl my Mom and I would go to Klinger's Market on Elm Street in Westfield. The whole store was about the size of my kitchen. Mr. Klinger used a set of long-handled tongs to reach whatever we wanted from high shelves. It was a cozy and friendly place and the hardest decision my Mom had to make was whether we'd take the groceries home in our Studebaker or have "the boy" deliver them to our doorstep that afternoon. The family market has gone the way of the Mom and Pop deli – of the dress shop on St. Marks Avenue where they'd shorten your dress hem without extra charge and the card stores that didn't stock "Have a happy divorce!" cards. I still miss owner-operated hardware stores and ice cream parlors with little wrought iron tables to sit and savor ice cream sodas. Alas, those were the good old days. You'd better believe it! In our June issue, we ran a letter to the editor written to us from one of readers, "Sleep Deprived", expressing dissatisfaction from hearing the whistle of the train in the wee morning hours, which is waking her up a bit too early each day. Well this touched a nerve in some of other readers, whose letters to the editor can be read on the next page of this issue. (I have to admit, I'm not used to our readers responding to one another through our publication.) At the same time, our local primary election for Mayor of Clinton Township (and, oh yeah, Governor of the State of New Jersey) was happening in early June. As some or many of you may have noticed, debating which candidate was best suited for the role of Mayor really heated up on Facebook, on the local Clinton Township discussion pages. Those of us who were following the back and forth of these discussions frequently got several of the CT pages confused -- myself included. In amongst the important information being discussed was some bitterness and a bit of back-biting as well. Nationally, the United States has been, well, UN-united. Dis-united? Wrenched apart? Regardless of your preference of wording, you all know what I mean. It feels to me that the divisiveness is at an all-time high, and I can't imagine how it's going to end. The last time our country was this divided – in my opinion, the 1860's – it did not end well. But, then again, the 1960's were no picnic for America either. At the same time, I'm pretty amazed at the fact that citizens in this country can see the same thing, read about it, dissect it and express opinions –– and come away with vastly different conclusions. I say it's "up", you say it's "down" or, as the Beatles wrote on the song Hello, Goodbye, "You say goodbye and I say hello. I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello." "And I'm right and you're wrong", would be the 2017 addition to that lyric. I am fascinated by people whose opinions are opposed to mine. How did you come to that conclusion? Where are you from originally? What was your background? How large or small was your family? And where did you fit into that puzzle? My kids will sometimes remind me, "It's none of your business, Mom!" when they overhear me (politely) asking these kinds of questions. But I really do want to know. This gives me a window into who you are and how you came by your opinion. I do believe that everyone's opinions are valid – I just need to figure out where you're coming from. It would be nice if you did the same for me, for your neighbor, for your opposite-minded family member or maybe, especially, the person on the other side of that online discussion you're engaging in. I recently read a great quote that sums it up for me: "Be Kind. Be Fair. Be honest. Be True. And all these things will come back to you. What comes around, goes around." Happy Independence (!) Day "The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation." ~Woodrow Wilson Jie Fly, Edit Since 1982

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