“You live in Marblehead? You’re so lucky.”
How often have we heard those sentiments from folks who live someplace else? More times than we care to count, probably.
Those numbers rise noticeably in summertime, the sweet spot between Memorial Day and Labor Day when our picturesque seaside town shakes off winter’s chill, hoists its sails, slathers on the sunscreen and embraces the lobster-and-corn season with open arms (plus a side of melted butter).
Each of us no doubt has a favorite ritual or two when schools let out and “vacation” turns from noun to verb. A setting or leisure pursuit we relish as these languid, lengthy days slip by — always too quickly, never lengthy enough — and the calendar tips toward autumn.
For much of this summer, locals have been caught up in two fraught issues, tolerance and transparency, that have divided our community and dominated civic conversation. In the spirit of the season, then, let’s add two more t-words to the mix: tranquility and therapy.
It only seems fair.
From the Arts Festival to Race Week, harbor illumination to house concerts, our summer calendar has been a full one, rain or shine. The weather? Hit and miss. The overall vibe? Restorative.
A few perennials worth celebrating:
- Twilight baseball games at Seaside and Gatchell’s (tip your cap to the late, great Dave Stern as you drive down Sterny’s Way). Rotating pickleball games on the Veterans Middle School courts. Scale-model sailboat races on Redd’s Pond.
- Family picnics at Crocker Park and Chandler Hovey, kids chasing Frisbees and giant soap bubbles. Young campers splashing in the outdoor pools at the Jewish Community Center and YMCA. Wee ones catching hermit crabs in a Devereux Beach tidal pool.
- A beachside stroll at low tide, capped off by an ice-cream cone at Neck Run (watch out for dive-bombing seagulls). A cold beverage sipped on the veranda of a harborside yacht club, vessels bobbing on their moorings in the foreground.
- A flotilla of powerboats roped together at anchor off Brown’s Island: instant (and persistent) floating house party. Paddleboarders and kayakers zipping around the harbor like water bugs. Brightly colored spinnakers dancing across the horizon line, arranged in a floating floral bouquet.
- Saturday morning produce shopping at the Farmers’ Market and bargain hunting at the town Transfer Station swap shed: the yin and yang of summer commerce. Bird watching at the Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Browsing the latest beach reads at Saltwater Books. A backyard fire pit warming hands and feet under a bright August moon.
The list goes on and on, even if summer does not.
Fall is just around the corner now. With it, in all likelihood, will come weightier issues to process. Before it’s finally over, though, let’s give Current readers the last word on summer:
The Current Editorial Board
The members of the Current’s editorial board are Ed Bell, who serves as chairman, and Virginia Buckingham, both members of the Current’s board of directors; Kris Olson and Will Dowd, members of the Current’s editorial staff; and Robert Peck and Joseph P. Kahn. Peck is an attorney, former chairman of Marblehead’s Finance Committee and a former Select Board member. Kahn is a retired Boston Globe journalist.