I'll admit it. I'm a Jersey Girl. Though in the interest of full-disclosure, I was born in Philly. Esther, of A Catholic Mom in Hawaii has decided to link up all the Jersey Girl bloggers who pass her way. And, I know. You're thinking Hawaii? That's about as far away from Jersey as you can get. Yes - true - but Esther has deep roots here in Jersey.
So what does it mean to be from Jersey? First of all I suspect it's the only state that continually has the first part of it's name dropped. You don't hear people talk about being from York (unless they're from York in England, or York, PA), or being from Hampshire, or Mexico (well, okay, that one makes sense, what with the real Mexico being right there and all), but the original Jersey is pretty far away, and fairly obscure. (It's part of the Channel Islands off the coast of England).
Being from New Jersey means people from out of the state not getting what is so great about it. We have beaches and skiing, we have farms and cities. And we have lots and lots of people.
When I was in Wyoming once I was surprised to realize that at times I wasn't really in any town. Neither here nor there I suppose. One town was left behind the next was miles away (I'm sure those areas are accounted for somehow). That doesn't happen in New Jersey. You're always somewhere. (It might happen a little bit in some of the far corners of the state, but not in most places.)
New Jersey has a lot of History. Many revolutionary battles were fought here. Washington had an encampment in Morristown. Molly Pitcher was a Jersey Girl. There are lots of places in New Jersey where Washington slept. One of them is behind our 7-11. Okay - that makes it sound like he was sleeping in an alley. There is a historic building, behind our 7-11, it's now several apartments, but it used to be an inn. It's been moved from it's original location - but it has a historic marker out front to say that "Washington Slept Here" (in more detail than that).
Thomas Edison did a lot of his inventing right in New Jersey. About a mile from my in-laws' house there is a tower with a huge light bulb on top, to commemorate Edison (they live in the town of Edison, by the way).
Another great thing about NJ is it's weather (aside from the humidity which is horrid). I was just convincing Harry tonight that a bit of a breeze does not mean that a tornado is coming. We don't get tornadoes here (now and then a baby one that aims for an unsuspecting trailer park, but that's about it). We also don't generally get direct hits from hurricanes - usually just the remnants of one as it makes its way up the coast. We don't get bad snowfalls (maybe a major one - meaning more than two feet of snow every couple of years.) No earthquakes. (there was a small earthquake when I was in middle school - the people who were running the seismograph in Princeton were changing the paper, so the severity was not recorded.)
All in all, I look at it this way - if New Jersey didn't have so much going for it (especially proximity to major cities), not as many people would live here. So we get cool stuff - and lots and lots of traffic. Oh well, there's always a bit of give and take.
And as far as the other Jersey Girl bloggers that Esther highlighted, they are: SFO Mom - Barb, Ellen at From Across the Net and with Jersey roots Christine at Ramblings of a Catholic Soccer Mom and Domestic Vocation. I want to add one more Jersey blogger I know, Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace and A Tea Cozy.