Well, that was a fairly quick offseason, wasn’t it?
A quick glance at your calendar will inform you that Memorial Day weekend is indeed next week, and with that comes the start to another summer season for our quiet little corner of the world. Gone will be the days of cruising back and forth along Route 26 and easily popping in and out of your favorite stores, arriving at your favorite restaurants at the exact moment you wish to be seated and, well, did I mention driving back and forth along Route 26?
Those of us who live here year-round love to complain about the summer season. We enjoy bemoaning the crowds and slow drivers who appear to never leave first gear as they meander down the roadways. We live to complain that we can’t get a table for dinner, a parking spot to go to the beach or the fact that it takes about two-and-a-half days to get through a visit to a grocery store.
It’s become almost a sport in these parts, as we combine our forces to collectively complain about “The Others” coming to town.
Oh, make no mistake, I join the chorus all too often, myself. I find myself muttering under my breath as I miss much of the summer’s sunshine while strapped to my desk throughout the summer months, and often just comb through the back of the freezer for an old bag of frozen peas instead of braving the roads to go to the store to find something I actually want to eat for dinner.
In the interests of full disclosure, I don’t believe I actually have any frozen peas in my freezer. The only way they would have gotten there is if a magical pea fairy came into my house in the middle of the night and traded out peas for an old chocolate cake or something else I would have stashed away. I mean, you don’t get a body like this by consistently eating vegetables or things that are good for you — it comes through a rigid practice of popping peanut M&Ms while sitting on the couch and staring at Discovery Channel programming, even if it’s something you may not be interested in, because you’re just too lazy to pick up the remote and ...
But I digress.
The true fact of the matter is I love the summer season. I like sitting out on the back deck in the evening and having a beer. I enjoy picking up a bushel of crabs and steaming them up with friends, and hitting up some of the restaurants and shops that are closed in the offseason. And I enjoy having much bigger papers to put together, because even though we have a lot more work on our hands during the busy season, we also get a lot more space to get more information into the paper.
And I truly love seeing friends who own local businesses have business worth conducting.
For those of you who haven’t paid much attention to, well, anything, times are tough out there. Though there are some signs of a recovery, the economy is still crushing people. People are still out of work. Many have homes with negative equity. And we’ve seen a few local businesses have to close their doors.
We need “The Others.” We need to embrace them, make them feel welcome and put on our best face this summer. Many of the people who visit us during the summer do so for a long weekend or a week. One bad experience can make them choose somewhere else to spend their hard-earned money next year.
Simply put, it’s up to all of us to make sure people enjoy their time spent in our little slice of heaven. We’re lucky here, when you consider everything. We get eight months of peace and quiet, to go along with top-notch restaurants and great shops. We have those things largely because of the people who come here in the summer and the support they give our local businesses.
So, let’s get it all out there now. Traffic will be heavier. Restaurants and shops will be more crowded. Parking will be a little tougher to come by for the next few months.
Better? Good. Now, let’s show these people what we’ve got.