Well, here we are.
The doors are opened up to the outside world again, and another Memorial Day weekend is fully upon us. The days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer and the boardalk fries are getting, well, boardwalkier. Yes, life is good in our little slice of Heaven by the shore, and it’s about to get even, well, goodier.
Look, it’s not all peaches and cream. We all understand that the summer season brings more people to the area, putting a stress on our outdated roads and infrastructure (as well as our collective patience), but it also brings the summer season, and that sounds pretty good to me after an absurdly-long winter and water-logged spring. Plus, the produce stands and farmers’ markets will have peaches. So, yeah, there’s that.
Since each year in our little coastal oasis is pretty much defined by that year’s summer season, I like to look at each Memorial Day weekend as a kind of “New Year’s Day” — complete with hangovers, vows to never consume adult beverages again and a clean page of resolutions. So, without further ado, I present my Summer 2018 resolutions:
• I vow to eat one metric ton of peaches this summer. It really wasn’t even on my radar until I started talking about peaches a few paragraphs ago, but now all I can think about is stuffing my ridiculously handsome face with the sweet, sweet taste of...
But I digress. Our local peaches are pretty amazing, though.
• I resolve to get out on the beach every chance I have. The best free entertainment in our area is that giant puddle to the east, and there’s really no excuse for only getting out to the beach a handful of times every summer. My 3-year-old is obsessed with both the sand and the surf, and I’m an idiot if I don’t take advantage of a day of fun with the family. Please hold off on the idiot jokes. I’m sure I’ll provide you even more ammunition before this piece is finished.
• I resolve to not allow myself to become a completely stressed-out shell of a human being by about July 1. Every busy season I tell myself to not get consumed by how busy I get, and to instead enjoy the ride and take each day as it comes. That usually works for about 17 minutes, and then I am hiding under my desk with a bottle of Jameson and a shirt dampened by tears.
Well, that got a little more dark than I had hoped. It really does not get that bad. Sometimes I have two bottles of Jameson.
• I resolve to not spend one healthy Saturday or Sunday when I am sitting on the couch and watching television while the skies are sunny and the air is warm. I have fallen prey to the Netflix virus before, and I’m sure I will again, but I’m not going to let it happen this year while there is plenty of summer fun all around me.
Unless “Peaky Blinders” or something really cool comes back on during the summer. I mean, who needs the heat if I have air conditioning and the exploits of the Peaky Blinders to keep me company?
• I resolve to continue my evening walks with my daughter, even when it gets pretty hot out and I’m a little more tired than normal when I get home from work. The exercise part of our walks is great, and that’s what motivated me to get out in the first place. But the conversations we have right now are what I find most entertaining.
Her: Daddy, why are there so many dead worms on the sidewalk?
Me: Would it be better if all the dead worms were in your bed?
Her: Are there dead worms in my bed?
Me: Do you want dead worms in your bed?
Her: Do you have dead worms in your bed?
Me: Are we just going to keep asking each other questions?
Her: No. But why are there so many dead worms on the sidewalk?
Me: Would it be better if all the dead worms were in your bed, and your bed was made of Jell-O?
I’m raising her to be a politician — always answer a question with an even-more agonizing question.
• I resolve to barbecue more this summer. It’s a simple pleasure, but one I enjoy a great deal. There always seems to be an excuse — but not one that can explain away missing out on an opportunity to cook meat with fire. I mean, come on.
Meat. Fire. There really doesn’t have to be much more said than that.
• I resolve to do at least as many fun things this summer as I do every year during a one-week vacation to the Outer Banks. It’s amazing how much can get jammed into one week of vacation, but how little gets done with an entire summer at my disposal. Sure, there are things you have to get done when you’re at home that you just don’t have to worry about when you’re on vacation, but, let it go. Even for just a few hours. Let it go.
• I resolve to come up with new, creative ideas for my columns, instead of just re-hashing old columns every time the seasons change and... Never mind. Enjoy your summer!
By Darin J. McCann