Taking For Granted Our Life on the Shore
Driving up 113 on a cloudy Saturday, with Pasadena’s “I Don’t Know” playing on the stereo and passing Em-ing’s, an icon of shore life, I felt a chill go through me. A realization of spring being on the horizon and the excitement of all that comes with the change of seasons here on Delmarva. But also the awareness of the things I love about living on the Shore, which I most often take for granted.
Small town life, the days passing at a slower pace. I don’t miss living in the hellish suburbs across the Bay Bridge, even though that is where I spent my childhood and have many good memories there. The memories will always be there, but going back to visit family and friends brings with it a tension I feel in my shoulders as soon as I cross the Bay Bridge. Year round population has grown since moving to Delmarva almost 15 years ago, but still nothing compared to where I grew up. My childhood town has sprawled into those around it, and I no longer recognize landmarks I would have from my youth.
The shore life was a welcome change 15 years ago, when we had enough with the commuter life in Bethesda, MD. Gridlock, high cost of living and a lifestyle we could not afford for much longer was finally left behind when we made the leap to the beach life. Commuting to work went from 30 minutes to go 5 miles in bumper to bumper traffic, to getting stuck behind the occasional combine on scenic country roads. Sure, in the summer the traffic gets a little heavier, but the benefit of being a local is to know what routes to avoid. With this seasonal traffic comes the realization that all of these people vacation where we get to live.
One of the best parts of living here is that the ocean is so close. All of the tourists that come to our shore in the summer months primarily come to go to the beach. After getting the opportunity to stay at the Hilton this weekend, and waking up to a gorgeous sunrise, I forgot how therapeutic the sound of waves crashing could be. Almost meditative, and has actually always been something I would do if I needed to clear my hear….just sit on the beach and watch the waves crash. The beach and the ocean is just a small part of the reasons I love it here.
- The love of the outdoors, including surfing, fishing, hunting, skating, SUP, golf, hiking. Most residents partake in at least one of these activities on a regular basis.
- Appreciation of small farms, organic produce, locally raised meat and dairy, and of course an endless amount of fresh seafood. For such a small area we have a large number of Farmer’s Markets open year round, and growing.
- For a “small town” we have a thriving art scene, even beyond the typical coastal art. Live original music, small local galleries, and a creative consciousness and appreciation of art.
- Great appreciation for the growing craft beer market, including several local breweries with more on the way.
- Nature and conservation of the environment is a concern of so many in our area. One thing about winter that is beautiful is driving by one of our many farm fields and seeing a sea of white, large flocks of snow geese enjoying the open land.
Make a point to visit more of Delmarva when you take your next trip to the Maryland and Delaware beaches this summer. Take a turn onto a backroad and visit our parks, small towns and discover all that I love of life on the shore.