It was like the beginning of a zombie movie — only with a lot more smiles and dramtically less body decay.
We went to the Selbyville Community Easter Egg Hunt last Saturday, and the looks on people’s faces told me all I needed to know — spring is now really here, people are sick and tired of sitting in their homes and this community truly comes to life with nice weather.
I’ve noticed it a few other times this year. There was a renegade warm day in February when we headed over to John West Park, and it was packed with pale, smiling faces that could barely contain their glee. Sounds of excitement filled the air, accompanied by the umistakable slapping of flip-flops hitting the ground at a high rate of speed.
And the kids seemed pretty happy, too.
This area does come to life with the sun. Sure, there are plenty of hunters here who enjoy those cold winter mornings out in the woods or a field, and I can’t blame them for that, but many of those folks also look forward to the warmer days ahead when they can fish, camp, surf or enjoy a day at the beach. The pure sun-worshippers, however, don’t tend to embrace those winter mornings as much, and they flock to the warmth whenever it makes an appearance.
By the way, the Easter Egg hunt was a fantastic event. Selbyville police officers assisted people with parking and getting across the road, while engaging in small talk all along. The Easter Bunny posed for pictures, children scrambled for eggs (see what I did there? “Scrambled.”) and the fire company happily opened their doors to the public to enjoy face-painting, doughnuts, a selfie booth, games and cool activities put on by the library. It was a community event, in every possible sense of the phrase. And everyone was happy.
If you’re a local, you know about the natural beauties that surround us, and you have probably been taking advantage of them your entire lives. Sure, there’s that big ocean over to the east, but there are also trails, inland bays and rivers to keep people out and enjoying all that nature has to offer. If you’re a transplant, like me, then you’ve probably learned about most of these spots over the years, but are maybe still discovering new adventures. If you’re a visitor to the area, well, venture out and explore. You won’t get very far without finding a terrific landing spot to just soak in your surroundings.
Really, those of us fortunate enough to live here are in the “sweet spot” of the calendar. Don’t get me wrong — summer is awesome, and a significant number of our businesses live and die according to how well their summer seasons go for them. But summer comes packing crowds with it, and crowds mean traffic, long lines at our favorite restaurants and a scarcity in parking. We ended up going to Bethany Beach on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning last weekend, and found prime parking spots both days without any stress.
That’s a perfect combination.
You know what else we discovered last weekend? A lot of those Bethany businesses are up and running again after a winter hibernation. We saw Five Guys filled with customers as we walked down Garfield Parkway, and it seemed that every other person we passed was holding an ice cream cone, or feeding one to their dogs. People smiled as we passed, opened doors for strangers and helped us locate our wild-child daughter on the playground when she would excitedly scamper from one thing to the next, leaving us trailing behind in search of oxygen tanks and intensive therapy.
It was awesome.
I confess to being more of a fall guy than spring. I love that we still have summer temperatures during the day, and get to enjoy cooler weather at night. I love when it moves into October and November and we glide into my favorite time of the year — sweater weather. Well, usually a sweatshirt for me, as I am on a fashion level on par with hobos and sports reporters, but you get my point.
That being said, spring is pretty darn terrific, as well. There’s a sense of rebirth in the air, as the blooming foliage goes hand-in-hand with our excursions from our winter hideaways. Sure, we had a pretty mild winter as far as snow and sub-zero temperatures go, but it seemed to go on for a long time this year, and usually brought a steady wind with it that made it hard to really enjoy being outdoors for very long.
And, as many of you already know, being locked indoors with an active 2-year-old who wants desperately to be outside is like being trapped in a giant hornets’ nest covered in... well, whatever really gets hornets going.
What does get hornets going? I know cauliflower makes me pretty mad. Let’s go with cauliflower.
Regardless, it has been nice seeing the weather change up and people getting outside again to enjoy all that this area has to offer. The hustle and bustle of summer is soon upon us, and it is clearly time to embrace our community.