40 Characters

iPhone addiction. I am so obsessed I sleep with my iPhone next to the bed, I carry it around with me wherever I am in the house. I write with it, I email, text with it, I post on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter with it. I run the scales and vocalize with it, translate with it. I use my iPhone WordPress app to blog with it, I buy online with it, I panic if I can’t find it. My husband says he can’t remember what I look like without an iPhone in my hand.

Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Instagram and Tinyurl we are limited to bits of quick information and entertainment and can lazily be moved by someone else’s post and click on the SHARE arrow. Job done. Next. OMG Twitter where we’ve only got 40 characters to get our point across. We are evolving into a world of hick ups. We are en mass Pavlov dogs learning to be abbreviated thinkers.

I have been tech converted. I will never again turn into someone who likes to hear themselves talk. Or think. Or read what they write thinking it’s so profound. That’s why most of my posts are short and to the point. I don’t want to over stay my welcome, bore everyone to death in this LOL world. I have become abbreviated. I am my own tinyurl app.


Copyright Sandra Hart 2014. All rights reserved.

Read Between My Lines

It’s an inspiring hang with Sandra Hart, former Romper Room teacher, touching on a number of subjects. Heart-felt and funny and often whimsical Sandra shares her personal, profound thoughts that will make you chuckle or give you thought about your own life. A thoughtful collection of essays that is a perfect read by your bedside or in daily doses. Available in Kindle or printed copy at amazon.com
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Not Yet

I wrapped my sweater more closely around my body as I stood and looked out at the familiar horizon before me. I thought how strange it is that the familiar can change day by day, but yet somehow those familiar changes do give a comfortable feeling of knowing. Of consistency. I really love that.

How quickly summer has passed, I thought. My husband and I have been loyal to this annual ritual of saying goodbye to one familiar and journeying to another warmer familiar. Moving from one nest to another never gets easier. At least for me. It seems that just as quickly as we get into a comfortable routine at one place, we have to shut the door and start again somewhere else. This year, it has happened too quickly.

“Oh look the leaves are beginning to curl and turn,” I said to my husband this morning, “September just arrived …. it shouldn’t be this cold yet.” The loud cicadas have been signaling the beginning of the end and now the leaves turning. I am not ready. So not ready, I said to myself looking out over the ocean.

Not just yet. No hurry here. I’m not ready for summer’s last breath to blow in the winds that chill me to the bone.

I hesitated. What am thinking? To be honest with myself, the truth is, Life is going by too, too quickly for me. I am not ready for much more than just changing my seasonal nest. That’s just a small part of it.

I’m not ready to grow old. Period. I’m not ready for my seasons to change. I’m not ready for my white hair to define me. I’m not ready to have to stand on my tiptoes to kiss my grandson on the cheek. I’m not ready to have people help me with my groceries. I’m not ready to have the young ‘texters’ give up their seats for me. I am not ready to be irrelevant.

I am…..just…..not……ready for that yet….but…….

I am so ready to keep dancing in front of the mirror. I am so ready to splash in the waves along the beach. I am so ready for gelled nails. I am so ready to daydream to love songs and wave my arms at rock concerts. I am so ready to eat a whole cheesecake and not feel guilty about it. I am so ready for the young girl inside of me to stay around for a long time.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2014. All rights reserved.

Let’s face it. I am just…..well…..so not…..ready to act my age!




The Magnificent Maidens who guarded our city of
cities at the point where the ocean and rivers bleed
into one another are gone.

9/11 Memorial on Mt. Mitchell here in Atlantic Highlands featuring an Eagle holding a twisted beam from The World Trade center in its talons.
Our house sits on the highest point of the Atlantic shoreline and the glistening Sandy Hook Bay gives way to the dark rolling Atlantic beyond the beach. Rising above the ocean swells that God should have reasoned was enough beauty for us humans to savor at one time, and stretching as far as the eye can see, the crown jewels of the Northeast glistened as the new sun set fire to the windowed skyline of New York City. The ability to have this panorama in my life on a daily basis never bores me and I usually don’t take it for granted. But Tuesday was not a usual day.

The phone rang. Why so early, I mumbled to myself. My daughter was on the other end. “Mother, an airplane slammed into the World Trade Center!”

Her words were incredible. Did I hear her right?

“What”, I said as I turned toward the ocean, my eyes searching to prove her wrong.

I looked out onto the familiar horizon and billows of dark smoke were erasing the color from the blue sky that stretched along the rest of the city skyline and beyond.

My husband and I watched in disbelief, hardly grasping what we were seeing, when another large billow of smoke erupted like a white silk parachute
exploding at full force and lifting vertically into the air.

Our neighbors started coming one by one and we
gathered shoulder to shoulder on the deck, each
silenced by the enormous spectacle.

Then one by one they dispersed just at quietly as they came and Arthur and I went into the house to watch with the rest of the world the unfolding of the
tragic events we had just witnessed.

Six hours later I was back on the deck, still somewhat in shock and starring at unending clouds of death blowing with the afternoon winds northward,
trailing high into the sky. The Magnificent Maidens who guarded our city of cities at the point where the ocean and rivers bleed into one another are gone.

Here I was in America, standing on the ocean’s edge among the green trees and songbirds. In this bucolic setting, I was watching a war 14 miles away.
It was more surreal than anything I could have even imagined I would ever witness. It was unthinkable. It was unbelievable.

Only the steady groan of the large ferries traveling back and forth executing rescue missions between our two shores kept me in reality. This was not just a bad dream. Who would have thought that this could happen here?

Now and forever I will remember that day in September. I will remember how we here in America died as a result of unspeakable acts of violence against innocent people. Those who have lost their lives in these tragic terrorist attacks are gone forever. Those of us that have been left behind had lost
something that next to life is the most precious thing we possess.

We have lost our ability to take an airplane or go into a building or to walk the streets with out fear of harm. We have lost our ability to feel safe from
terrorism in any corner of America and the world. We have lost an important part of our freedom.

I will never forget where I was on September 11, 2001. I will never forget where I was on this horrendous day when deeds of man against man were applauded in the name of religion.

© Sandra Hart published in Asbury Park Press 2001


Peace. At Last

I was as bald as an onion when I was born. And when I finally did grow hair it was platinum and straight. That all changed …. well …. I don’t know exactly when, maybe about when I was ten or so. Then all hell broke loose. On top of my head. Massive frizz the color of straw.

Braids became my savior. Any solution to tame that unruly crop that suddenly appeared up there. I remember my grandma and mother making my plats so tight my head would ache. But the mess was hidden and undercover. I used to hate it. Hate it…Hate it!

Why is it we are cursed to covet what we don’t have? I have done everything throughout my life since those braids to get rid of the curls. Not the hair, just those darn curls. For me, it is and always has been ‘straight-hair-envy’.

When my mother was getting poodle perms I was embarrassed by my curly, unruly hair. I thought she was crazy to ruin her nice straight hair to look like our family pet. But she didn’t think twice about keeping mine in braids like a show horse’s tail.

At thirteen ‘The Hair War’ between mother and daughter about cutting my hair finally was won by me, and she chopped off my braids. But that’s when the next battle began. The one between me and my new short and wild hair finally escaping from its braided jail.

I struggled through high school using pony tails to normalize the life sprouting from my scalp, but it wasn’t until the mid 60’s that I found out about a cure to what ails me. Hair straightening! I had discovered my new best friend! Considering every model and movie star had beehives and straight hair, my tangled mess was anything but beautiful in the eyes of the celebrity world back then. So I was relaxing, straightening and rolling. This girl did everything measurable within the law to kill my curls.

At home and away from the public eye I walked around like a space alien in front of my children with empty frozen orange juice cans bobby pinned on my head trying, oh so trying, to look like Farrah Fawcett. This was the best method available to me at the time to murder the kink on my head.

And then something quite strange came trending out in the 80’s. Curly hair ?! It was…. It was….. everywhere! Natural, permed, short, or voluminous. Curly was in vogue. Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon! Gosh, I hadn’t gone out in public with my curly hair in almost 20 years! What in the world?? Should I dare to just shower, fluff it dry and go out of the house?

Nuts as it sounds, that first time I walked out of our apartment onto the streets of Manhattan with my curly hair, I was a little weirded out about being so nakedly honest as to who I really was. To step out being the real me and to embrace, to accept the whole me which included that mass upon my head was hard and a long ride down in the elevator to the street.

I will forever blame it on my husband. It took the ‘hair love’ of my husband for the first time in my entire life to really, really accept my unruly wild and naturally curly hair. He made me do it. It was my husband, finally, who told me to just ‘go for it.’

So recently, when I posted a new profile picture on my Facebook page my cousin made a nice comment about my hair. That reminded me about a photo album my husband has compiled throughout the years taking literally thousands of pictures of my hair. He has always bizarrely been obsessed with my wild hair. So one thing leading to another, and with writing time on my hands today, forgive me for digressing from more important things and selfishly opening up to you about my hair woes and joys.

As a dear friend of mine who suffers from alopecia often reminds me, more is more, less is less and no fun at all.

She is right. There has been a truce. I have made peace with my hair. At last.

P. S. I still haven’t thrown away my magic wand to straightness-my long and narrow hot iron. I suppose if I were a smoker it would be like vaping or sneaking around the corner for a puff or too. Sadly, still addicted. Sometimes. But still at peace.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2014. All rights reserved.








Venus and Mars

My husband called me today from the city asking me if I could get him on the Internet from our shore house. You see, I should be flattered-he thinks I’m a maven. Although I have tried to tell him, I can’t perform miracles, the burden of his believing I can do anything and everything sometimes is a heavy weight.

Now, I admit I am much younger than he is and started our marriage by being pretty self-sufficient, but he doesn’t understand there are things that are beyond my scope. I can’t set up his Wi-Fi in the city from New Jersey.

Disappointed, he asked, “What are you doing today?”

“Up on a ladder painting the house trim.”

In my dreams I heard him reply,

“Oh Honey, wait for me and I will help you this weekend.”

In reality he replied, “Well, be careful don’t fall off the ladder.”

“If I do nobody will know except Sophie (our Lhasa) and she doesn’t know how to dial 911. I will be like the giant tree that falls in the woods and makes a great noise, but nobody hears because no one is there.”

“Ok. See you this weekend. Love you.” He hung up hearing nothing that I said, confident his maven had it under control.

Moral of this story: I learned a long time ago in our relationship that my husband is Tom Sawyer and I am the one who is showing him how to paint the fence. Because I am honestly kind of a maven I get it. And I go along with it because I get it and he doesn’t realize it.

I clicked off and wiped the wet white paint fingerprints from my iPhone. No use dreaming of a knight in shinning armor riding to my rescue with bulging biceps and a paint brush. My knight has skinny arms, rides a bike and his hand holds not a paint brush, but a remote that hops from channel to channel. He loves my soups, misses me when I am away and thinks I am beautiful.

Relationships are work. No doubt about it, the Venus and Mars theory is right on!


Jersey Strong

New Jersey. It has a reputation of oil refineries and wild south New Jersey shore kids (who in reality are not from the Jersey shore.)

New Jersey is called the Garden State because it does produce the most magnificent fruits and vegetables. Nothing better in the summer than a succulent Jersey tomato, corn that is sweet as sugar and juicy, colorful peaches. We have acres of cranberry bogs, flower farms and fruit orchards where if you’d like you can pick your own baskets of apples and berries.

Our ocean and bays provide us with all types of wonderful seafood, some of which is exported as far away as the Scandinavian states.

We have miles of beaches for swimming and boating in the summer and mountains for skiing in the winter. All within an hours reach of each other.

Monmouth County within the state of New Jersey has more horses per capita than any other state in the union and acres and acres of riding trails for the equestrians.

New Jersey is the only state in the union who also can drop the New and just be recognized as part of the states name ‘Jersey.’

As far a education goes, New Jersey is home to Princeton and other universities that are part of the many fine colleges that we have here in our state.

So the next time you think that New Jersey from mile to mile is filled with Sopranos and soprano types please don’t be misled. From Thomas Edison to Marconi who sent the first overseas telegram from New Jersey to Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Dana Evans, and of course, Emerson Hart. We have a lot to offer.

In spite of our small size we are a mighty state full of diversity in landscapes and peoples and industry. So New Jersey Housewives, and all the crazy reality shows based in New Jersey, in my 42 years of living here, I have never met anyone like you. Thank Heavens!