School is out and tourist season has officially begun in beach towns like my own. The streets are filled with out-of-state license plates on cars parked the wrong way on a one-way street. There are golf carts on the highway and deflated floating devices in nearly every trash bin lining the beach front. Soon, the lines will be long at the local Food Lion; The Shanty, Brown Dog Ice Cream, Coastal Ice, Deadrise Pies, The Bakery on Mason, the distillery, the brewery, and the recently permitted food trucks. Our usually quiet beach will be full of people, pop-up tents, discarded sand toys, music, laughter, and a few screams from tired and sunburned little ones.
While the next three months will be a bit challenging, I am reminded of my own summer vacations — the rules broken and the memories made. I am sure there were evenings we were a little too loud and up a little too late. Maybe our fireworks were illegal, we didn’t check. Could have been we took margaritas in a cooler to the beach, tried on way too many outfits and purchased nothing. Could have been we took someone’s parking spot or place in line. Could have been all of those things.
Come September they will all be gone, but our local businesses will have made enough to stay open through the winter and make some improvements. Kids from the high school will have had summer jobs and learned a few lessons along the way. Summer is filled with possibilities.
All this to say I am reminding myself to just be helpful, patient, and tolerant; to never wish away a season, no matter what.