I am gradually getting more into community life. I see regular faces at the gym in the morning. I've gone to a couple of meetings at the school. I've participated in the town 5K race. I read the local newspaper.
The local newspaper is just wonderful, especially the police blotter. "Officer Smith pulled over a green Toyota on the corner of Elm and Broadway. When the officer asked the 21-year old, male driver to roll down his window, he detected the odor of cannabis."
I'm also fond of the Letter to the Editor section. In last week's paper, Abe Panelli requested that the individuals who stole his "No Trespassing Signs" off his front lawn promptly return the signs. He added a note to parents:
If you bump into the signs in your basement, garage or pray tell on your teenager's bedroom door and you're sure you didn't buy them, you might be inclined to inquire as to their acquisition. When you perceive rapid eye movement, sweating, stammering or a wetting of the trousers, feel free to return the stolen property at your earliest convenience. Then over dinner, you can explain that being a "good citizen" doesn't just including capturing rainwater, wearing hemp clothes or turning in your parents to the compact-fluorescent-light police. It includes honoring the somewhat diminished concept of private property.
Yeah, you lousy hippies! Get off my porch!
Yesterday, Jonah had a half day at school, so I took him along with me as we did some chores. Outside of the town post office, some LIndon LaRouche guys had set up a booth with "Stop Obama" signs. They had thoughtfully drawn Hitler mustaches on all the pictures of Obama. Which is an improvement. A few months ago, they had a target over Obama's face. I drove by them a few times and made Jonah take pictures of them with my iPhone.
I should add that New Jersey isn't just angry, old men and their nasty signs. There are wonderful places to take hikes, cool activities, and some really kind people out here. Jonah and I are making a website with our links to local resources. There's a lot to do out here, but surprisingly it isn't on the Internet. I have hundreds of bookmarks on my computer, so I'm just organizing them all in one public place. It's a good mom-son project.