Yes, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off to another summer season for our little oasis by the sea, and business owners and restaurateurs are hoping it brings with it carloads of vacationers and second-home owners eager to take in all the beachside goodness we have to offer.
Those of us fortunate enough to live here year-round affectionately refer to summer as “the silly season,” but we also know that the silly season is what keeps the heat turned on in February. So, we’ll work a few more hours each day, struggle a little more on the roads to get where we have to go and understand that there might be a longer wait to get a table at our favorite eateries.
Like many of you, I’ve kind of gotten into the habit of hibernating over the summer. I get tired and cranky from the long hours of work and the annual slide of heartache the Orioles put me through, and I just want to sit home in the air conditioning and catch my breath during any spare moment I can find. It seems like I finish the Memorial Day issue and head right into the Labor Day issue, and I never even noticed that it was summer outside.
A complete waste of an environment.
I used to come to Bethany Beach for a week every summer as a kid. My grandmother had access to a time share through her job and we would descend on Bethany en masse for what was my favorite week of the year. Though those days were more than 30 years ago, I still clearly remember our trips here like it was yesterday.
I remember making my own sundaes in miniature batting helmets, shooting hoops downtown and our annual trip down to Ocean City one evening to attack the boardwalk. The days were filled with trips to the beach, swimming in the community pool where we stayed and sometimes just hanging around the house with family members, eating fresh fruit from local produce stands and simply enjoying being spoiled rotten by my grandmother.
That’s one of the reasons I was so excited to move here in the first place — the opportunity to recreate some of those memories from my youth. However, I haven’t taken advantage of all that is available here since, well, I moved here. I’ve realized that I often do more in one week of vacation in the Outer Banks each year than I do in an entire summer living in this area.
This is the summer that stops. This is the summer that I get off my tail and embrace all that there is to enjoy here. This is the summer that I learn to kitesurf, drop 30 pounds and defeat the evil dragon of Gumboro with my trusty tape recorder and a slingshot I constructed out of some old elastic waistbands and ...
But I digress.
See, that’s my problem with resolutions of any kind. I overshoot, fail quickly and fall back into my usual routine. I have to be more realistic with these things, and come up with more reasonably-attained goals. With that in mind, here are my hopes for this summer season:
• I will get some color this summer. Sometime around Labor Day last year I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realized I was white — not “white” as in caucasian, but “white” as in a spotlight. If I was able to move quickly there would have been a strobe effect in my bathroom and I would have probably found myself moving like a robot because that’s what I do when I have a strobe light in my presence. For the record, I’m not proud of that.
• I will get to the beach this summer. I don’t mean just running down to Bethany for a meeting or searching for our photographer in Fenwick on a nice day. No, I will get some sun, swim in the waves and read a book. Actual beach time.
• I will run a 10-k race with Ryan Saxton this summer, and finish the thing. Yeah, right. I’ll do that the morning after I slay that Gumboro dragon.