This weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season around this community, and that means plenty of sunscreen, feasting seagulls, surfing, skimboarding, camping, fishing and more. Unfortunately, it also usually means more accidents and injuries.
We ask all of you to pay attention when playing in the ocean. Listen to the lifeguards, don’t stray too far from the shore and keep an eye out for unsuspecting kids playing near you. Each year there are emergency rescues of people who get caught up in scary tides, and some of them have resulted in fatalities.
It is also wise to always practice safe-boating skills. Obviously, driving a boat under the influence of alcohol is always a terrible idea, as is speeding recklessly through heavy-traffic areas of water, and boating in harsh weather. Use common sense, and the tools you were taught in safe-boating courses.
Please, please, please use crosswalks when walking across the street and always pay attention to your surroundings when bicycling. Every single year we receive reports on pedestrians and bicyclists being hit by motor vehicles. Some of them have been the fault of the operators of the vehicles, and some have been the fault of the pedestrian or bicyclist. Some have just happened because of unlit roads. Don’t assume anyone else on the road is being responsible or can see you easily. Always be vigilant.
Obviously, we are not trying to take away anyone’s fun this summer — we are just imploring all of you to be safe. The natural beauty of this community is astounding, and there is so much to get out and enjoy. But it does come with risks. Make your memories at the beach great ones.
The trusted Coastal Point calendar hanging on my wall tells me that we have indeed crossed into another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.
And fanny packs. Lots and lots of fanny packs.
No, it’s not the Twilight Zone of which I speak. We have officially crossed the breach known as Memorial Day weekend, which, as we all know, means thousands of vacationers hitting our beaches, roads, shops and restaurants — while locals alternate between hibernating in their homes and working 146 hours a week to meet the growing needs.
It’s been called the “summer season,” the “silly season,” “money season” and the “road-rage season.” To be honest, there isn’t any other time of the year, with the possible exception of Christmas, that makes me feel more conflicted.
On one hand, I love summer. I love sitting outside at a campground with a cold beer and good friends, taking a walk around the neighborhood at 9 p.m. with my dogs and watching my daughter shake off months of being largely-relegated to indoor confinement. And, since I judge so much of my happiness based on food, there isn’t a whole lot better than cooking meat over fire, watching steam rise out of a pot filled with crabs, sinking your teeth into delicious sweet corn or filling clear plastic bags with locally-grown produce.
On the other hand, well, I have to enjoy a lot of the summer weather through the view of my office window, it gets a little more difficult to get a table at our favorite restaurants and I just never quite got around to transforming my body into prime beach shape. In fact, putting on a bathing suit at this particular time makes me look like a handful of runny scrambled eggs with a tight rubber band around the middle...
But I digress.
If you’re still reading after I planted that winning mental imagery in your head, thank you. I know it isn’t easy, and I promise to not go down that road again. Today.
Regardless, this is the time of the year that I traditionally pen a column on my personal summer resolutions. Actually, the word “resolution” comes with the implication of somebody being, you know, “resolved.” I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have a fierce determination to accomplish everything on this list, but these are some things I would like to see happen.
• I resolve to enjoy Memorial Day weekend for what it means as a landmark in our local calendar — the weekend when our busy summer season kicks off, and the start of summer fun.
There have been too many years when I have groused about people not having the respect to honor those brave men and women who gave their lives in support of this nation, and it took me a long time to truly realize you can have both — and I ask all of you to do the same.
Take a moment to really reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation, as well as their brothers- and sisters-in-arms. Think of those heartbroken mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, siblings and friends who had the rest of their lives affected by those losses. Pay them the honor and respect they deserve.
But get out and enjoy a barbecue with those you love or sit on a sun-soaked beach. Take an early-morning walk at James Farm or get out on a boat and drop a baited hook into the water. Those men and women sacrificed themselves with the idea that they were providing a safe place for Americans to do just that.
• I resolve to spend as much time in the pool with my daughter this year that I can. She loves it. There aren’t many things that bring her as much joy as playing in the pool, and there is nothing that brings me as much joy as watching her have fun.
• I resolve to team up with Shaun Lambert and beat the stuffing out of Emily Harne and Sarah Hoban in cornhole this summer. Yes, this has been on my list for several years. Yes, it has always ended with Emily and Sarah gloating as we fall short. But that won’t change if we stop trying, right?
• I resolve to find balance this summer. It’s easy to come home from a long day of work and melt into a couch. It’s just as easy to put on my big-boy pants and realize that there are always a couple of hours to be found to do something more intensive than reaching for a remote control.
• I resolve to eat a lot of grilled, smoked and steamed food this summer. The powers-that-be in Las Vegas would list this resolution as the odds-on favorite.
• I resolve to spend less time staring at my cell phone this summer and more time... just not staring at my cell phone. It’s wonderful how easy it is to connect with people at a moment’s notice nowadays, but sometimes you just don’t want to be connected.
• I resolve to get out on a boat with the Long family this summer. Now that they have a little more free time, let’s make this happen.
Letters to the Editor
BBFM votes to not allow alcohol sales
The Board of Directors of the Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market would like to inform the Town of Bethany and all of our market patrons of our position on the pending legislation of House Bill 228. This legislation allows for the tasting and sale of wine, beer or liquor at Delaware farmers’ markets.
On Feb. 13, our board voted not to allow alcohol sales in the Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market for two reasons:
• The market flourishes and is compatible with our designation as one of “The Quiet Resorts.” We see no reason to bring alcohol tasting into the mix on a Sunday morning.
• Farmers’ markets were established by autonomous local communities. The purpose of the markets originally was to support local farmers who grow what they sell. We do not feel that a highly coveted slot in the market should go to a brewmaster instead of a farmer.
By the same token, our sister market, the Farmers’ Market at Sea Colony, has also elected to remain an alcohol-free zone. It is our belief that small farmers are the endangered species that we have sought to promote and protect.
Board of Directors
Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market