Summer is almost here, and my hopes for a return to normalcy run high. There are signs—only signs at this point—that the pandemic is in retreat. With a little luck and continued effort on everyone’s part, the economic hardships and social stresses caused by the virus may soon be a distant memory.
What is normalcy? I mean the good type of normalcy, because many of us still have a way to go before things get back to a good state. And, of course, for some who have lost a loved one, a job or a business, normalcy is never coming back.
I count myself among the fortunate. I never got the virus. And I am grateful to have received both shots of the Moderna vaccine. Such good fortune is the context with which I look forward to this summer.
Here’s a list of some things I look forward to:
Fully open restaurants. Obviously, this is already happening. I hope that there won’t be another “spike” this summer that forces Maryland to implement another lockdown.
More outdoor dining. The few times in 2020 that I ventured out to eat were in open-air seating venues. I liked it. I’d like to see more of it. And, let me add that I also hope for fewer loud vehicles barreling down the road while I am dining.
The Waterfowl Festival in Easton. I am grateful that the strong leadership of the Festival enabled it to survive 2020. I look forward to a full restoration of the festival which I have enjoyed for more than 20 years. This year it’s scheduled for November 12-14. Be sure to visit the website for more information.
Plein Air and all other Eastern Shore art shows and fairs. We are partial to the Oxford Fine Arts Festival in May. There is no such thing as too much art. We also look forward to Easton’s First Friday Gallery Walks.
Open parks and museums.
Live entertainment. We missed the Tred Avon Players at the Oxford Community Center last year, as well as live entertainment at the Avalon Theater. We look forward to their return.
Entertaining friends. We love having friends over for cocktails and appetizers on our screened porch. We plan to renew that tradition this season.
Sailboats on the water. Few things are more elevating–especially the Oxford and Heritage Regattas. Some of my favorite photographs are from these events.
Hummingbirds. We plant salvia to attract them. These beautiful and fascinating birds build their tiny nests in nearby trees.
Our vegetable garden. This year we will plant peppers, tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, and eggplants and harvest blackberries and strawberries.
Sunflowers. We grow them in our yard and enjoy them wherever else we see them—particularly the lovely fields of Bill Eason’s farm.
Blue crabs and crab cakes. I proclaim Maryland’s the best in the U.S.
The Farmers Market in Easton. The selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, honey, seafood, fresh flowers and more is a treat indeed.
The Oxford Library book sale. Thanks to this sale, we’ve added some wonderful additions for our library. It is typically held on Oxford Day. Unfortunately, Oxford Day 2021 has been cancelled. The next Oxford Day is April 22, 2022. We will look for information to see if the Library will hold a sale this year.
The Oxford fireworks. We hope to view them from the water this year, preferably with nice cool weather.
Continued growth in the quality and circulation of the Spy newspapers. I’m a bit biased, but I check my email at 3 p.m. every day for my Daily Intelligencer to find out what’s going on. You should do the same. Also, consider supporting the Spy with a donation. Tell them John sent you.
Balancing out, sort of, here are some things I hope not to see:
Trump flags flying from boats on our waterways. The election is over. It’s time to give Trumpism a rest.
Plastic bottles and other debris in our waters. Last year, I saw trash of some sort or another every time I was boating. Can’t we all make special efforts to prevent items from blowing overboard? And all who are caught throwing trash into the river should lose their rights to boat.
Drunk drivers (and drunk boaters). I’m weary of seeing a variety of beer cans and empty booze bottles tossed on roadsides. Even worse are the frequent accidents caused by drunk drivers. This needs to stop.
Andy “Handgun” Harris. Why did Andy attempt to carry a handgun onto the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives? That stunt put me over the line. I already wanted to see him voted out based on his alignment with Trump. It’s OK if the Eastern Shore elects a representative more conservative than other members of the state delegation. Just let it not be a far-right extremist. Why is Harris on this list given that he is not up for election this year? I’d like to see him resign.
Mosquitos. The bane of our existence!
Anti-bicycle motorists. Bikers don’t want to be run over. Also, when you toss that trash out the window while driving down the road, you create hazards for bicyclists. Don’t do it.
Pollen. If I wanted a yellow car, I would have bought one.
Cicadas. I’m dreading them.
What are you most looking forward to and dreading this summer? If so inclined, please leave a comment.
J.E. Dean of Oxford is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant writing on politics, government, domestic policy, and occasionally goldendoodles.