Welcome to Our New Home in New Jersey

At the beginning of the summer of 1980, we packed up a moving truck and started on our journey from South Dakota to New Jersey. This was the third cross country move in the span of a couple of years. Our arrival was met with a warm welcome from a lovely family. This is the fifteenth post in my Tell A Memory Tuesday series.


[bctt tweet=”All of us sat in the cab of the truck and towed our car behind. Sara sat beside her father. Jamie’s carseat was on the outside and I sat between the girls.” username=”GaylWright”]


The window was open so Jamie proceeded to let her sock go out the window. I guess she wanted to see if it would fly.


Welcome to Florida
I think this was taken during our summer in Florida after we left our furniture in NJ. Sorry it’s so blurry.


A Warm Welcome


We arrived in New Jersey late one afternoon where Mr. and Mrs. Barker welcomed us into their home. She was a sweet lady who was also a member of the school board. I felt exhausted after traveling so far with an almost 4 year old and 19 month old, but they made us feel at home.


Right after we arrived Sara fell and skinned her knee in their driveway. I was thankful for the way Mrs. Barker took her by the hand and helped her into the house. She carefully tended Sara’s wounds talking to her the whole time.


A Wonderful Hostess


Mrs. Barker was quite the hostess. For dinner we sat in their dining room where she had set the table complete with tablecloth and pretty dishes.


[bctt tweet=”She served each of us plates of delicious food. It seemed like we were in a fancy restaurant.” username=”GaylWright”]


After dinner we went upstairs and Mrs. Barker showed Sara the laundry chute. She was fascinated by the fact that it went from the second floor all the way down to the laundry room in the basement.


When it was bedtime for 4 yr. old Sara, Mrs. Barker tucked the blankets snugly all around her making her feel secure. Sara loved it so much that she wanted me to continue the practice every night.


Mrs. Barker set the table beautifully for breakfast the next morning. She even had Half & Half in a little pitcher which she let the kids pour on their cereal. With all her care and attention she made us feel very special. We enjoyed getting to know her and her husband.


Florida for the Summer


One of the other board members let us store our furniture in their garage while we visited relatives in Florida for the rest of the summer. What a welcome sight when we drove up to the house of my parents!  There we celebrated Sara’s 4th birthday. 



We visited Steve’s parents in the St. Petersburg area.


Welcome to St. Petersburg


The girls enjoyed cooling off in the wading pool at my parents’ home.



Welcome to Kenilworth, NJ


Upon returning to NJ, we stayed in the Barker’s house while we looked for housing of our own. Finally we found and rented the lower level of a house in Kenilworth.

[bctt tweet=”The Italian owners left a lovely garden full of Roma tomatoes and figs which we were able to enjoy.” username=”GaylWright”]


welcome to Kenilworth
The girls and I at the steps of our rental home.


The neighbors were friendly and made us feel welcome. We began to settle in nicely. Here’s a photo of one of our nighttime routines where I brushed Sara’s hair before bed.



[bctt tweet=”There was a free preschool in a church down the street. We enrolled Sara, because we thought it would be a way to get to know people.” username=”GaylWright”]


She had a lot of fun dressing up as Raggedy Ann for their Halloween party and participating in the parade they had in the classroom.



We became close friends with one family we met at the preschool who had three daughters close to the ages of our girls. Every day when we walked home from school the girls begged to eat lunch together. Most times we did, either at our house or theirs. We shared lots of laughter and fun times with them.


Next week I’ll share some of our New Jersey adventures. Be sure to check out my other Tell a Memory Tuesday posts.


[bctt tweet=”What memories do you have that made an impression on you? I’d love for you to share in the comments.” username=”GaylWright”]


4 thoughts on “Welcome to Our New Home in New Jersey

  1. Dear Gayl, these photos and memories of your family are so sweet! I am encouraged as I read the ways that God led you. That precious hospitality from the new school board members felt like such a gift from God, as I remembered the difficulty from your previous school board members. Our Lord knows how to restore our soul, doesn’t He? Your memories help me to look back and see those gifts that He has poured over my family too. Blessings, love, and hugs Dear Sister!

    1. Dear Bettie, I am glad you are enjoying the photos and stories. Yes, that hospitality and the new friends were such a special gift. I will be sharing more about some of those friends and others in coming posts. I’m so glad my memories help you look back over yours! It’s good to look back and remember. Sara and I had a good chat this morning over some of the things she remembered from that time. Blessings, love and hugs to you, too, dear sister/poet/friend!!!xoxo

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