A new page in our lives begins. Al is retiring. His last date at Monmouth University is on June 30th. The entire months of May and June fly in front of our eyes. After a long debate, we decide to rent our house in Keyport. We are hoping for a short rental: four or five months starting July 1st, while we are away in Turkey enjoying a few months without rushing back to New Jersey for before the fall semester begins.
Well! It looks like there are not many people out there to rent a furnished house in Keyport for a few months. It would not be a problem if our house was in Ocean Grove. Hmmm! That leads to a new possibility for us. How about we rent our house furnished for a year, and then we search for winter rentals in Ocean Grove!
And, within a week. Our house is rented! And after spending a few hours on the Internet searching for winter rentals in Ocean Grove, we end up renting a beautiful two-bedroom apartment, 2nd floor with a beautiful ocean view.
So, here is the plan. We spend the summer and part of the fall in Turkey, and the winter in Ocean Grove — almost having a full year vacation in wonderful places.
But, there is a problem. How are we going to separate ourselves from Keyport?! We measure the driving time from Keyport to our winter apartment: 33 minutes. Not bad! There are also trains from Asbury Park and we can get off at Hazlet station and walk 20 minutes to Keyport. This is the math part.
But, will we be able to say, “let’s eat at Nemo tonight”, or … listen to Dave McCarthy tonight (so, he can sing “Night in White Satin” for me) at McDonagh’s, have breakfast at Lenora’s, visit Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, walk everywhere, say hello to many friends in Keyport, have a glass of wine with Nora and Beth at the Yacht Club, tend our garden, take a morning walk at the waterfront and at the trail with my friend Lois, chat with Harry Aumack at the firehouse he visits almost daily, and bring the grand kids to the beach and teach them how to skip stones in the water? How about Max The Swan? Will we be able to see his babies when we come back?
Now that I am in Turkey writing this at my brother’s apartment one week after my arrival, I am looking back. I really, really miss Keyport! Al and I had many dinners with our great friends that we made in the last ten years at all the great restaurants in Keyport. We participated at the Keyport Garden Walk. Al and his friends, Vito, Vinnie, and Diane, played in our garage (real garage band — no practice, never played together?). Then, this informal quartet ended up playing at Uncle Louie G’s Ice Cream shop, thanks to owners, John and Vinnie. Al and I had our many morning breakfasts on our balcony enjoying the glistening bay and the sail boats.
I have lived in many places in the 35 years of my life in the United States. Keyport is the only place I miss when I am away. We are not leaving Keyport. We will come back after an unpredictable, almost gypsy-like one year here in Turkey and over there in Ocean Grove. I guarantee we will be in Keyport at least once a week. Nothing can erase our love for Keyport. That is one of the reason, we could not sell our house. I cried rivers when that possibility became almost real!
A big hello to my friends in Keyport from Turkey! And we will be back soon.