Today marks the 15th anniversary of my residency in Hillsborough. Yes, we closed on our house on April 29, 1993. I remember we had just one day left on our lease at the apartment in Freehold, and were relieved not to be out on the street!
We started looking for houses in 1992, after Merck moved their corporate headquarters from Rahway to Whitehouse Station. The commute from Freehold to Hunterdon County was just too far, and Merck was offering a generous relocation program - provided you moved within a designated perimeter.
I had been to Hillsborough a couple of times before when I worked presenting educational programs at New Jersey schools. I liked the area because it reminded me of where I had grown up in Monmouth County. I liked the mix of suburban and semi-rural. I remember thinking that Hillsborough would be a great place to raise my family.
Unlike a lot of the kids I grew up with, I never had the attitude of wanting to get as far away from my hometown as possible. I thought my hometown was great - and I was glad to find that a place like it still existed in New Jersey in the 1990s.
Yes, there is always a nostalgia for the small-town America of Norman Rockwell and Walt Disney, with it's Main Street and mom and pop grocery. But there is also value in the kind of suburban childhood I had - with its station wagons and backyard ballgames.
That's the kind of childhood I wanted my kids to have - and I found it right here in Hillsborough. Truly, the best move I ever made.