The new season is here -- oh, what to do?

And ... they’re off!

If NASCAR has its green starting flag to kick off the start of hours of people driving around in circles, then I would argue that this community should have a similar method in symbolizing the start of our summer season, which often consists of people sitting idly in their cars for hours while waiting for traffic to resume some semblance of a flow.

Perhaps a tan flag to symbolize our beaches? Or a dollar sign with a slash through it to praise our lack of sales tax? Or, maybe a flag bearing the symbols of ticks, mosquitos and jellyfish? Or, to best recognize the very essence of the summer season here at the beach, a starting flag covered in images of sun block, crab carcasses and little bottles of alcohol?

Yes, we now begin our busy season here at our little coastal oasis, which brings with it vacationers looking to enjoy all we have to offer, snowbirds returning from their winter retreats in Florida and locals working around the clock to make up for the doldrums of the off-season.

For those of you reading this who are returning to enjoy our area this summer, welcome back. I think you’ll find the beach to be as beautiful as you remember it when you are sitting in your office daydreaming about vacations past, the people as accomodating as ever, and the food and drink as plentiful as you would want. You’ll also find some new restaurants and businesses dotting the local landscape this year, and I think you’ll have fun exploring those new spots, as well.

For those of you visiting our area for the first time, let me give you a hearty welcome from all of us. We love seeing new faces here, and we have a collective confidence that your vacation will be one that lasts in your memory until you come back and visit us again next year.

For those of you who live here, all year or over the summer months, take some time this summer and enjoy things. There’s a really big body of water over to the east that has a beach and everything. There are really good restaurants. Don’t hide in your caves this summer. Be social. Visit with your friends. Invite loved ones down to the beach for a vacation. Read your Coastal Point and keep in touch with what’s happening around you, while you enjoy the deep thoughts and insightful wisdom of that dashing bald editor with the dreamy eyes and ...

But I digress.

As has become my annual custom, I have come up with a list of resolutions for myself this summer season. With the craziness of work, and a distaste for traffic congestion, I almost always fail in my (half-hearted) efforts to complete the list, and chances are I will come up short yet again this summer. But I’m striving for realistic goals this year.

That being said, here we go:

• I resolve to spend at least one hot Sunday afternoon sitting on my couch, possibly in my undies, watching television with the air conditioning blasting. I told you these would be a little more doable this year, people. I guess I should have also warned you about the possible mental imagery.

• I resolve to stay loyal to my beloved Baltimore Orioles this summer, despite their recent struggles. I kept a wait-and-see approach to the team’s surprising success last year and will not sell them short again. Win or lose, I’m sticking behind them.

• I resolve to eat a whole lot of food off my grill this summer. That one will be easy, but I needed a softball in there.

• I resolve to partner with my man Shaun Lambert in the Russell White scholarship cornhole tournament in a few weeks, and bring the pain down on Emily Harne and Sarah Hoban. I am still nursing my wounds from last year’s grudge match, and will not feel that way again.

• I resolve to not make fun of Bob Bertram’s age at all this summer. Go ahead and click “fail” next to this one.