Around Town
The Community YMCA Launches Annual Strong Kids Campaign
Vote For Jacquie Lee
Colts Neck Cares 1st Annual Benefit for Bella
Ask The Experts
Ask The Expert - Alexandra Freer
Ask The Experts: Gary Michaels Fine Jewelry
Ask The Expert - Dearborn Market
Bay Wellness
Bay Wellness - Health After Menopause
Bay Wellness - Genital Warts
Bay Wellness - Welcome to our newest issue
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Best Bet - The Spine and Pain Institute of New York
The Guide 2014 - Colts Neck Inn
The Guide 2014 - Massage Envy Spa
Black Book
Cover Story
Life on the Strip
Dr. Fredrik Oberkehr
The Marlboro Man
Daytripper
Day Tripper - Central Park
Day Tripper - Insectropolis
Daytripper: Popcorn Park Zoo
Eats
Eats: McDonagh’s Pub
Eats: Delfini Italian Gourmet
Eats: Cake Bake & Roll
Etc
Etc - Turkey Day
Etc - The Facebook Situation
Etc - Walking through Monmouth County
Fall Guide
Fall Guide - Art of Wine
Fall Guide - Pumpkins, Hayrides, & Orchards
Fall Guide - Museums
Featured Artist
Featured Artist - Nate Chadwick
Featured Artist - Sangita Phadke
Featured Artist - Elyissia Chinchilla
Gift Guide
The Guide 2013 - Anna's Italian Kitchen
The Guide 2014 - Atlantis Centers, Inc.
Linda LePre Interiors - Gift Guide
Health Talk
Health Talk - Carol Ash, DO
Health - Raritan Bay Medical Center
Health Talk - Dr. Clifford M. Sales
Health, Wellness & Beauty
Health - Trinity Rehab
Health - Hospitals
Health - Jonathan Salon
Homes
Defined By Good Design
A Grand Home for Living - Harris
Sunrise to Sunset - The Bonfiglio's
Letter
Spring has Sprung!
Letter to Colts Neck: Falling Into Good Times
Warm Winter Wishes
Living in Colts Neck
Gratitude in Guatemala
Feels Like Home
Impeccable Style
Newsletter Articles
Renaissance Pilates Now Open
The Home - JFS Interiors
The Home - Closettec
Our Picks
Company Profile - Freedom Boat Club, NJ
Our Pick - Country Clean Paper Supplies
Our Pick: Ani Orthopaedic Group
People On The Move
People On The Move - Peter Caram
People On The Move - Bill Mack
People On The Move: Cara Smith
Summer Guide
Summer Guide 2014 - Our Jersey Shore
Weigh In - What Annoys You Most About The Beach?
Dish - Summer Guide 2014
The Bay
The Bay - Welcome to the Premiere
The Bay - Could I Have Diabetes and Not Even Know it?
The Bay - A Body In Motion
The Guide
The Guide 2014 - Bentley Edison
The Guide 2014 - Merry Mutts
The Guide 2014 - Essential Elements Dance Studio
The Home Guide
The Home Spotlight - Select Technology Group
The Home Guide - AIR DOCTORS, INC.
The Home Guide - Richmond Tile & Bath
Weigh In
Weigh In - What is your favorite TV show?
Weigh In - What's Your Favorite Pizza Place in Monmouth County?
Weigh In Marlboro: What’s Your Inner Animal?

Etc - Tired, Busy, Distracted, and Resigned
04/30/2011

Etc - Tired, Busy, Distracted, and Resigned


Eric Tucker writes about the quirky goodness of Monmouth County for Living in Media. He has the rare perspective of a local boy born and raised here, but please don't tell his wife. She's a Bergen County broad.


Fact – the place called Adelphia is an unincorporated expanse of land, mostly in Howell, but extending into sections of Colts  Neck, Farmingdale, and Freehold Township. I learned that from my primary source of information,Wikipedia. Interestingly, or not, I’ve labored since childhood under the impression that Farmingdale was part of Howell Township. Apparently, they  rebelled and seceded from Howell 108 years ago and didn‘t tell me. Whatever. Back to Adelphia.

These days, revolutions abound. Not so in Adelphia, where the good citizens live in harmony with each other, the rest of  Howell, and nature itself. For Adelphia is home to one of my favorite destinations spring, summer, and fall: Turkey Swamp  Park. (I don’t go to places in the winter.)

Legend has it that the original park officials elected the name Turkey Swamp to keep the crowds away. It’s a wonderfully  awful name. The closest turkey may be at the diner on Route 9. Adelphia, which means brotherhood in French or something, used to be known as Turkey. The sandy soil, close to the water table, gets swampy in the rainy weather. Hence, Turkey  Swamp. My father taughtme to learn something new every day. I’m good until Friday.

Being broad minded by nature, the environmentally inclined would likely overlook the name of the park and make favorable  comparisons to Walden Woods, which was highly touted by Thoreau. Twenty seven years ago, my kindly freshman  composition teacher, who I will call “Mrs. Klingensmith” as that is her name, had us read Thoreau - an author who liked to  sit in the woods, night and day, until he needed something to eat. Then he’d walk into town. I think he would have enjoyed a  visit to Adelphia’s most famous park.

Incidentally, my teacher went by "Mrs." instead of "Prof." to differentiate her from her husband (may he rest in peace), who  went by the name “Mr. Klingensmith” and similarly taught lethargic freshmen how not to write.

Anyway, when it came time to write something, students in the class were each given a famous quotation pulled from the  reading material. I got "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." I researched by reading not only the paragraph  with that line, but the preceding and subsequent paragraphs, as well. This was years before Wikipedia came to the aid of  college freshmen.

I'm sure I did not get over a C+, my writing being what it was. Also, what could I have known about either the mass of men  or quiet desperation? Whether the mass of men cried into their pillows at night was not for me to say at the time. The class hadn't discussed it yet.

My family, subjected to living under my roof, benefits from my brief lectures. The quotation I am most apt to assault them  with is, "Simplify, simplify, simplify," when it suits my cause. There's too much stuff in this house. Things break and I can't  fix anything. Generally, I’m not listening when people talk. However, when I catch on that they are plotting to bring some  new technology or clutter-inducing apparatus into the house, particularly when it may cost money, they get my attention. "I  believe it was Henry David Thoreau,” I interject “who said 'Simplify, simplify, simplify'...blah, blah, blah" and I go on from there in my best Frau Klingensmith affectation. I added the third "simplify” originally out of ignorance of the original quote.  I keep it there now for emphasis.

 
No doubt our friend was on to something while pontificating. He was known by some as an ugly, overeducated Massachusetts  liberal. But, he had his fans. However, he seemed to insinuate that quiet desperation was pathetic or a symptom of a life not  well lived. Something we should rearrange our lives to avoid. Now that I've matured enough to grapple with the deep  significance of catch-phrases in “Walden,” I have no time to sort it out. I'm a year older than Thoreau was when he died of  the tuberculosis. And I’m too tired. Busy and tired. Distracted, too. Busy, tired, and distracted from demands and conflictive desires and limitations and expectations. The interactive and cumulative effect of these would make his consumptive  stockings spin. I’m not at liberty to sit in the woods for months or years strolling into town only to mooch a meal. There’s  no time for me to develop quotable quotes for use on Jeopardy, like Henry David, or even to read his whole book. It's more  heroic to suck it up and carry on. Fix up your house. Save for retirement. And maximize the usefulness of your limited  leisure time.

Are we not products of our environments? The following gives a flavor of my childhood environs. My father was never one  to spring for dessert. When we went out for dinner, we still ate dessert at home or in the car, if we were “vacationing.” For  vacations, we camped. Our first camping trip was to Turkey Swamp, about 20 minutes away, close enough for Dad to go  home to walk the dog he didn't like and feed the cat he never wanted. I could go on with similar vignettes; but I'm saving  them for future use.

I'll just go ahead and tell you what that environment produces: resignation. Resignation is like a layer of fat that protects  your will to live from the corrosion brought on by the disappointment that life brings most of us. The by-products of my  environment include a hesitation to order dessert, unless it's included in the kids’ meals, and the resignation that allows me to  cope with whatever Thoreau might have been talking about.








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