When You Do Not Know Better

george_hancockstefanA couple of days ago someone was describing the necessities of life in order to have a happy childhood. There were a number of nutritional meals that one had to have every day, indoor plumbing, a good number of shoes and clothes and a number of recreational activities. If one has these things, he went on to say one will have a happy childhood and consequentially a happy adult life. While I agreed that these are things that are important, I did not see the connection between those things and happiness.

A couple of years ago I listened to a Detroit preacher from one of the poorest parts of the city. He said that they are so poor that the letter r has dropped from the word.

I grew up without most of the things listed.  Most of us were so poor that instead of wheat bread, we had corn bread.  My mother was masterful at using one pound of meat for the whole week. Each one of our meals smelled like it had some meat. Approximately 300 students attended our school which consisted of three buildings and 6 outhouses.  We did not know what indoor plumbing was. We carried water from the wells for washing and cooking and each house improvised on what would be called a bath or a shower. Yet most of the friends that I grew up were very happy because we did not know better.

Nevertheless, what we had in abundance was a spirit of optimism. We did not complain that we did not have it, despite knowing that somewhere things could be better. Most of us did not have radios or TV’s, but our houses had so many books. After I finished taking care of the farm animals, I would start reading until my mother would tell me to go to bed because reading in the moonlight would cause me to go blind.  We would run into the whole village until midnight listening to old men and women tell stories in front of their homes. I knew of who was falling in love with who, and who was the yentl of our village arranging weddings when the harvest was brought in.  I knew the battles of Stalingrad as though they were happening in our village. Come to think of it, when we left the country of Yugoslavia at the age of 15, we still did not have electricity in our house – we still used kerosene lamps.

I do not wish the list of the things that I did not have on anyone, but I do not think that having all the things that are so important will make us happy or more adjusted to society.  Apostle Paul tells us that he learned to be content in all circumstances.  It is not the possession of things that is of utmost importance, but it is the development of character independent of these things. In my family we also believed that our God was able to supply all of our needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus.  Since we had food to eat, some clothes and a place to sleep, we learned to be content.

When You Do Not Know Better

george_hancockstefanA couple of days ago someone was describing the necessities of life in order to have a happy childhood. There were a number of nutritional meals that one had to have every day, indoor plumbing, a good number of shoes and clothes and a number of recreational activities. If one has these things, he went on to say one will have a happy childhood and consequentially a happy adult life. While I agreed that these are things that are important, I did not see the connection between those things and happiness.

A couple of years ago I listened to a Detroit preacher from one of the poorest parts of the city. He said that they are so poor that the letter r has dropped from the word.

I grew up without most of the things listed.  Most of us were so poor that instead of wheat bread, we had corn bread.  My mother was masterful at using one pound of meat for the whole week. Each one of our meals smelled like it had some meat. Approximately 300 students attended our school which consisted of three buildings and 6 outhouses.  We did not know what indoor plumbing was. We carried water from the wells for washing and cooking and each house improvised on what would be called a bath or a shower. Yet most of the friends that I grew up were very happy because we did not know better.

Nevertheless, what we had in abundance was a spirit of optimism. We did not complain that we did not have it, despite knowing that somewhere things could be better. Most of us did not have radios or TV’s, but our houses had so many books. After I finished taking care of the farm animals, I would start reading until my mother would tell me to go to bed because reading in the moonlight would cause me to go blind.  We would run into the whole village until midnight listening to old men and women tell stories in front of their homes. I knew of who was falling in love with who, and who was the yentl of our village arranging weddings when the harvest was brought in.  I knew the battles of Stalingrad as though they were happening in our village. Come to think of it, when we left the country of Yugoslavia at the age of 15, we still did not have electricity in our house – we still used kerosene lamps.

I do not wish the list of the things that I did not have on anyone, but I do not think that having all the things that are so important will make us happy or more adjusted to society.  Apostle Paul tells us that he learned to be content in all circumstances.  It is not the possession of things that is of utmost importance, but it is the development of character independent of these things. In my family we also believed that our God was able to supply all of our needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus.  Since we had food to eat, some clothes and a place to sleep, we learned to be content.

Coastal Collection – Solo Photo Exhibit

coastal_collection_2013RED BANK, NJ – The exquisite series of sepia tone photographs of local Jersey Shore photographer, Susan Fairgrieve is on it’s way to Red Bank! “The Coastal Collection” will arrive at The Oyster Point Hotel on Monday, February 4, 2013 with an exhibit created by, and for, a lover of the sea. This series and exhibit is dedicated to the beautiful spirit of Fairgrieve’s late husband, Scott Sinclair. A portion of all proceeds from this exhibit will benefit local victims of Sandy.

Possessing a broad spectrum of design sense from a graphic design background, this photographer designs through the lens. With gifts from the sea and nautical elements in her surroundings, her love for texture and shape comes through in “The Coastal Collection” series. From the shores of Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard to the Nassau beaches of the Bahamas and the Jersey coastline, the collected elements for this series are very unique and beautiful—a guaranteed delight to a lover of coastal living.

This exhibit features numerous signed giclées and framed prints in various sizes. Meet the artist at the Opening Reception on Saturday, March 9th from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Overlooking the Navesink River located at The Oyster Point Hotel, 146 Bodman Place, Red Bank, New Jersey 07701, this showing is “shore” to please. Exhibit runs February 4 through April 30, 2013 and can be visited during regular business hours.

For additional information about this exhibit or other works and collections of Susan Fairgrieve, contact [email protected] or call 732.642.4279.

The Coastal Collection series can be viewed at www.TheCoastalCollections.com

Coastal Collection – Solo Photo Exhibit

coastal_collection_2013RED BANK, NJ – The exquisite series of sepia tone photographs of local Jersey Shore photographer, Susan Fairgrieve is on it’s way to Red Bank! “The Coastal Collection” will arrive at The Oyster Point Hotel on Monday, February 4, 2013 with an exhibit created by, and for, a lover of the sea. This series and exhibit is dedicated to the beautiful spirit of Fairgrieve’s late husband, Scott Sinclair. A portion of all proceeds from this exhibit will benefit local victims of Sandy.

Possessing a broad spectrum of design sense from a graphic design background, this photographer designs through the lens. With gifts from the sea and nautical elements in her surroundings, her love for texture and shape comes through in “The Coastal Collection” series. From the shores of Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard to the Nassau beaches of the Bahamas and the Jersey coastline, the collected elements for this series are very unique and beautiful—a guaranteed delight to a lover of coastal living.

This exhibit features numerous signed giclées and framed prints in various sizes. Meet the artist at the Opening Reception on Saturday, March 9th from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Overlooking the Navesink River located at The Oyster Point Hotel, 146 Bodman Place, Red Bank, New Jersey 07701, this showing is “shore” to please. Exhibit runs February 4 through April 30, 2013 and can be visited during regular business hours.

For additional information about this exhibit or other works and collections of Susan Fairgrieve, contact [email protected] or call 732.642.4279.

The Coastal Collection series can be viewed at www.TheCoastalCollections.com

Lt. Governor Visits On The Deck

Closed for Three Months, Atlantic Highlands Restaurant’s Resilience is Testament to Shore’s Comeback Spirit

Trenton, NJ – Encouraging New Jerseyans to continue their support for storm impacted businesses and towns, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today celebrated with employees and patrons the resilience and spirit of Atlantic Highlands’ On the Deck Restaurant and Harbor View Bar to repair and reopen after suffering damage during Superstorm Sandy.

“Businesses like On the Deck and its owners are why the Jersey Shore is poised to come back better than ever after Superstorm Sandy,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Despite suffering enough damage to keep the restaurant closed for three months, co-owners Henry Moyer and Nick DiBari were committed to repairing and rebuilding and have now resumed service for their employees and patrons. I’ve seen this unique combination of grit, hard work and compassion while visiting these types of resilient businesses throughout New Jersey. It’s why I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of New Jersey’s shore.”

On the Deck Restaurant and Harbor View Bar, which opened about 5 years ago, employs about 90 people during the summer and up to 30 during the off season. Located at the Atlantic Highlands Marina, On the Deck was forced to remain closed for three months due to damage to both the restaurant and the marina.

“Our employees, especially those who are with us year round, they’re like our family,” said DiBari. “Many of them have been with us since we opened. Well, they were out of work for quite some time while we were closed, and that hurts. They were hurt by the storm in so many ways that we felt we needed to get open as soon as possible. We got them back to work, but it just took longer than we wanted it to take.”

Now that the restaurant and other Atlantic Highlands businesses have reopened, DiBari stressed it is important for people to visit and support local businesses.

“We are open, that’s first and foremost, and we’ll be ready for the upcoming season,” continued DiBari. “Businesses and residents in town are continuing to deal with the storm’s impact, but we’re open and we’re here. Local business is a big part of how most of the shore communities have survived and thrived over the years, and supporting us now will help the shore come back quicker and better than ever.”

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Governor Christie has made assisting affected New Jersey small businesses a priority. In addition to initiating a statewide business impact assessment in collaboration with the state’s leading business groups, the Christie Administration worked with the Small Business Administration to secure nearly $189 million in loans for thousands of homes and small businesses, and provided lines of credit through the state’s Economic Development Authority for businesses awaiting insurance reimbursement, grants for job training, and benefits for displaced workers. New Jersey was also the recipient of a $15.6 million National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to hire unemployed state residents to assist with clean-up and recovery efforts.

Businesses are encouraged to call the state’s Business Action Center at 1-866-534-7789 for assistance and information on the many business advocacy services available through the state.  Information is also available by visiting the state’s business portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.

Lt. Governor Visits On The Deck

Closed for Three Months, Atlantic Highlands Restaurant’s Resilience is Testament to Shore’s Comeback Spirit

Trenton, NJ – Encouraging New Jerseyans to continue their support for storm impacted businesses and towns, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today celebrated with employees and patrons the resilience and spirit of Atlantic Highlands’ On the Deck Restaurant and Harbor View Bar to repair and reopen after suffering damage during Superstorm Sandy.

“Businesses like On the Deck and its owners are why the Jersey Shore is poised to come back better than ever after Superstorm Sandy,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Despite suffering enough damage to keep the restaurant closed for three months, co-owners Henry Moyer and Nick DiBari were committed to repairing and rebuilding and have now resumed service for their employees and patrons. I’ve seen this unique combination of grit, hard work and compassion while visiting these types of resilient businesses throughout New Jersey. It’s why I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of New Jersey’s shore.”

On the Deck Restaurant and Harbor View Bar, which opened about 5 years ago, employs about 90 people during the summer and up to 30 during the off season. Located at the Atlantic Highlands Marina, On the Deck was forced to remain closed for three months due to damage to both the restaurant and the marina.

“Our employees, especially those who are with us year round, they’re like our family,” said DiBari. “Many of them have been with us since we opened. Well, they were out of work for quite some time while we were closed, and that hurts. They were hurt by the storm in so many ways that we felt we needed to get open as soon as possible. We got them back to work, but it just took longer than we wanted it to take.”

Now that the restaurant and other Atlantic Highlands businesses have reopened, DiBari stressed it is important for people to visit and support local businesses.

“We are open, that’s first and foremost, and we’ll be ready for the upcoming season,” continued DiBari. “Businesses and residents in town are continuing to deal with the storm’s impact, but we’re open and we’re here. Local business is a big part of how most of the shore communities have survived and thrived over the years, and supporting us now will help the shore come back quicker and better than ever.”

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Governor Christie has made assisting affected New Jersey small businesses a priority. In addition to initiating a statewide business impact assessment in collaboration with the state’s leading business groups, the Christie Administration worked with the Small Business Administration to secure nearly $189 million in loans for thousands of homes and small businesses, and provided lines of credit through the state’s Economic Development Authority for businesses awaiting insurance reimbursement, grants for job training, and benefits for displaced workers. New Jersey was also the recipient of a $15.6 million National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to hire unemployed state residents to assist with clean-up and recovery efforts.

Businesses are encouraged to call the state’s Business Action Center at 1-866-534-7789 for assistance and information on the many business advocacy services available through the state.  Information is also available by visiting the state’s business portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.

Protect Yourself From Medicare Fraud

Upcoming workshop will provide tips on Medicare fraud and abuse 

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Office on Aging will sponsor a workshop for seniors  entitled “Protecting Yourself From Medicare Fraud” on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Monmouth County Connection, 3544 State Highway 66, Neptune. Speakers will include representatives from New Jersey Senior Medicare Patrol and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The intent of this workshop is to help create awareness on the significance of Medicare fraud and abuse and explain ways to protect oneself from it. Additionally, the program will inform seniors about common phone scams related to Medicare, and how to avoid them.  By paying attention to the summary you receive in the mail from Medicare, seniors can learn to detect common billing errors and help recover some of the money lost to Medicare fraud and abuse.

The Monmouth County Connection is located at 3544 State Highway 66 in Neptune, adjacent to the Home Depot and across the street from Walmart.  This new office of Monmouth County government offers a variety of services including passports, passport photos, free notary public, veterans’ IDs, election/voter information, senior and veterans’ services, public access computers and more.

The office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The County Connection is under the direction of County Clerk M. Claire French and is supported by the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The workshop is free and open to all Monmouth County residents, but registration is required. To register, please call 732-303-2828.  

Protect Yourself From Medicare Fraud

Upcoming workshop will provide tips on Medicare fraud and abuse 

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Office on Aging will sponsor a workshop for seniors  entitled “Protecting Yourself From Medicare Fraud” on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Monmouth County Connection, 3544 State Highway 66, Neptune. Speakers will include representatives from New Jersey Senior Medicare Patrol and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The intent of this workshop is to help create awareness on the significance of Medicare fraud and abuse and explain ways to protect oneself from it. Additionally, the program will inform seniors about common phone scams related to Medicare, and how to avoid them.  By paying attention to the summary you receive in the mail from Medicare, seniors can learn to detect common billing errors and help recover some of the money lost to Medicare fraud and abuse.

The Monmouth County Connection is located at 3544 State Highway 66 in Neptune, adjacent to the Home Depot and across the street from Walmart.  This new office of Monmouth County government offers a variety of services including passports, passport photos, free notary public, veterans’ IDs, election/voter information, senior and veterans’ services, public access computers and more.

The office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The County Connection is under the direction of County Clerk M. Claire French and is supported by the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The workshop is free and open to all Monmouth County residents, but registration is required. To register, please call 732-303-2828.  

Extended Foreclosure Relief for Sandy Storm Victims

Additional 90-day moratorium to help FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who serves as President Obama’s Chairman of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, and Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco today announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac will extend expiring protections against foreclosure actions against homeowners whose properties were damaged or destroyed due to Hurricane Sandy.

The additional 90-day foreclosure moratorium applies to homeowners with properties in states where the President issued major disaster declarations following Hurricane Sandy.  The extended moratoriums announced today apply to the initiation of foreclosures and foreclosures already in process.

“It’s all too clear that families need more time to get back on their feet without having a foreclosure or eviction hanging over their heads,” said Donovan.  “As we work to rebuild after this historic storm, we’ll do everything we can to ease the crushing burden being faced by those homeowners, many of whom have been forced from their homes.”

“Given the magnitude of this disaster, extending the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions will allow homeowners in the affected areas, and their servicers, the time needed to assess individual circumstances and options,” said DeMarco.

FHA is extending moratoriums for another 90 days on the initiation of foreclosures and foreclosures already in process.  FHA is also suspending evictions of persons from properties secured by FHA mortgages in these affected counties through April 30, 2013. 

After consultation with FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will also extend the suspension of foreclosure sales and eviction lockouts for borrowers impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  The new 90-day extension applies to homeowners with properties or employment within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared disaster area eligible for individual assistance.  This follows an earlier 90-day suspension of foreclosure sales and evictions in the impacted areas.   In addition to the foreclosure sale and eviction moratorium, homeowners impacted by Hurricane Sandy may be eligible for forbearance, loan modifications or waived late payment charges.  

Extended Foreclosure Relief for Sandy Storm Victims

Additional 90-day moratorium to help FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who serves as President Obama’s Chairman of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, and Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco today announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac will extend expiring protections against foreclosure actions against homeowners whose properties were damaged or destroyed due to Hurricane Sandy.

The additional 90-day foreclosure moratorium applies to homeowners with properties in states where the President issued major disaster declarations following Hurricane Sandy.  The extended moratoriums announced today apply to the initiation of foreclosures and foreclosures already in process.

“It’s all too clear that families need more time to get back on their feet without having a foreclosure or eviction hanging over their heads,” said Donovan.  “As we work to rebuild after this historic storm, we’ll do everything we can to ease the crushing burden being faced by those homeowners, many of whom have been forced from their homes.”

“Given the magnitude of this disaster, extending the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions will allow homeowners in the affected areas, and their servicers, the time needed to assess individual circumstances and options,” said DeMarco.

FHA is extending moratoriums for another 90 days on the initiation of foreclosures and foreclosures already in process.  FHA is also suspending evictions of persons from properties secured by FHA mortgages in these affected counties through April 30, 2013. 

After consultation with FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will also extend the suspension of foreclosure sales and eviction lockouts for borrowers impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  The new 90-day extension applies to homeowners with properties or employment within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared disaster area eligible for individual assistance.  This follows an earlier 90-day suspension of foreclosure sales and evictions in the impacted areas.   In addition to the foreclosure sale and eviction moratorium, homeowners impacted by Hurricane Sandy may be eligible for forbearance, loan modifications or waived late payment charges.