Its been forty days since Superstorm Sandy slammed New Jersey, but even as the cleanup and repair work continues, there is a growing sense that it will be a new normal along parts of the shore.

Stacy Proebstle, Townsquare Media

As you drive into Long Beach Island, its virtually a ghost town. WaWa's, restaurants, bars and stores are mostly, if not all closed.

"You can't go to the food store, there are no places to eat," said Karen, a permanent homeowner on the island grabbing something to eat with her husband.

"This is the only place in town where you can get a hot meal," she said, as they prepared for another long afternoon of ripping out drywall in their flooded home.

"We have had this home in our family for nearly 50 years and it's really sad in there now, our dog didn't even recognize it when we brought him back."

These days, she said she and her husband have basically stopped working, putting all their effort into rebuilding their home.

"We hope to be back in by March, we are staying at a friend's home nearby so we can get all the work done but its been a very hard and slow process, working with the insurance companies and contractors...so many houses are damaged its hard to find people to do all the work and for a good price."

Looking ahead to the holidays, Karen admits things will be different.

"It won't be easy, this is the first time our family won't be here on Christmas, we don't have a tree, its sad."

Still, she's optimistic the shore will be open this summer.

"It probably won't be the same, but I think it will come back."