Point of No Return — Another season is here, and resolutions follow

Game on.

This weekend marks the start of Summer 2017 for our coastal oasis, and that means steamed crabs, cold beers sodas, evenings largely spent outside and husbands wearing their darkest sunglasses on the beach so they can see bikinis the dolphins without anyone being savvy to what they’re watching.

This is when our little slice of paradise truly comes alive. Sure, there really is nothing better than enjoying our area in the fall, and spring is when we start to crawl out of our self-imposed hibernations to enjoy the splendor around us, but summer... this is when we shine.

Soft-serve ice cream dripping down our forearms as we walk the boardwalk, live music under the stars in Bethany and at the Freeman Stage, personal watercrafts zipping along the inland waters, huddling around a campfire with friends and a bottle of Fireball thermos of hot chocolate and simply standing over a grill with slabs of red meat fresh vegetables sharing their aroma with the neighborhood — all the sights, smells and sounds of summer can not be topped.

We could easily replace Jan. 1 with Memorial Day weekend around here in terms of the true start of the year, both fiscally and physiologically. Summer drives our entire economy, and there’s something about that summer sun warming our shoulders that can temporarily make all the bad things in the world just slip away.

On the flip side, summer is indeed fleeting. We wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, and then it’s gone. One minute we are donning patriotic garb and honoring fallen service men and women on Memorial Day, and the next we are lining the boardwalk in black attire for the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral on Labor Day. It’s like a three-month Christmas — you plan for it meticulously, but then it all seems over by your second cup of coffee while you’re shoving as much wrapping paper as you can into a Hefty bag and complaining about all the garbage precious gifts lying around the floor.

So, knowing how quickly the summer season flies by every year, I’m taking a moment now to put together my summer resolutions for the 2017 season.

• I will go to the beach at least 10 times. This one seems a little fanciful, as I have resolved to go to the beach at least once in previous years. However, my 2-year-old daughter has an obsession with the beach, and given the choice between watching her try to ride the dog down the stairs or taking her to the beach is not much of a choice. I’ll drop the remote and hit the sand, and save myself a little shred of sanity, because, you know, going to the beach in the middle of summer is the definition of madness rational thought.

• I will go camping at least five times. It does get a little difficult to enjoy camping in summer, what with the mosquitos, crowded campgrounds and heat that melts my belt buckle to my waist increased warmth, but getting away and simplifying life for a few days is always a gift — and I’d rather have my daughter playing in the dirt than watching cartoons.

• I will make/find the time to get out and move a little more often. It’s easy to fall into the trap. You work hard all day or night in the summer, get home to the sweet hum of your air conditioner and collapse on a couch. I don’t only fall into this trap with alarming regularity, I often bait it, citing a need to go through my emails for work so I can steal some guilt-free time on the sofa. Not this year! Well, maybe some, but not often! Well, not every day.

• I will eat crabs, burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, corn on the cob, barbecue, ice cream and a dinosuar slathered in sweet hickory sauce fresh produce every single chance I have. I love “summer food.” For the record, I’m also a fan of “fall food,” “winter food” and “spring food.” Hey, I’m a man of the seasons. What can I say?

• I will ride a ferris wheel, race some go-carts and tame a wild dolphin, simply by using the powers of my mind and a deep will...

But I digress. I will ride something with my daughter this summer.

• I will not get overwhelmed at work this summer. Admittedly, I say this every summer, and honestly start out with the best of intentions. But usually by, say, today, my blood pressure starts pumping faster than Usain Bolt running downhill and I look for the closest reporter to throw a stapler at throw a book at throw a small truck at advise. This is the summer I will learn to let go of a few things, leave the rest in a mental bucket when I walk out the door and go enjoy everything around me. (Editor’s Note: Do not place a bet on this working out for me.)

• I will work on an article for Labor Day that cites all the things that went wrong with my summer resolutions this year, including excuses for each thing I missed. Some possible excuses include being too busy at work, an attack by an alien life force that only I saw and was bravely able to repel and some random blame assigned to Shaun Lambert. For instance, “I would have gone to the beach but Shaun invited me to a bar found out about a juicy poker game in Atlantic City asked me to help him deal with a very sensitive issue.” Hey, I’m there for my friend.