Dawn O Watson | CNBNewsnet
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (December 31, 2018)(CNBNewsnet)--
Each year January 2nd heralds the return of children and teachers to school, parents to work (if they were lucky enough to have off for the holidays), and generally a return to normal life.
Kids trudge the streets, grumbling about how unfair life is as they show off their new Nike’s, Abercrombie and Fitch sweaters and jeans, and coats from Nordstrom and Saks. They ride their sparkling new bikes that boast eighty pounds of chains to secure them and gripe about actually having a vehicle they have to peddle.
Before I start getting hate mail, let me clarify the reality of life in the less-than-upper-middle-class city I love.
We ain’t Haddonfield.
Gloucester City and the surrounding towns are filled with parents just barely able to cover their mortgage or rent. We struggle with an economy where social security may not even be available to our children and will most certainly be just a notation in a history book for our grandchildren.
And yet, somehow we thrive—we raise our kids the best we can, are kind to our neighbors, and are grateful for help from family and friends. We work hard and pray for enough quality time to spend with them, often giving up sleep so our kids feel loved.
The children seem to sense that a coat from Nordstrom is not going to magically appear under the Christmas tree and they’re happy with gifts from Five Below and Walmart. We hold our breath as they tear open packages under the tree and weep with silent gratitude when their whoops of joy fill the room.
Some say we are lower-middle-class people—I say there is nothing ‘low’ about us—we are amazing!
Gloucester City, Brooklawn, Barrington, and the other little towns whose citizens are less-than-wealthy have their share of woes but we love, we laugh, and we support one another passionately.
Church groups make sure no one is hungry, private citizens have open pantries, books are lent, borrowed, and returned to those that otherwise might be unable to get to the library.
This is part of what makes our area special.
We aren’t Mayberry. But we’re darn sure not low.
Happy New Year. And thanks for your support.
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