Eastern Shore Residents Poised To Make the Most of Summer


By Linda CicoiraAccomack and Northampton folks are planning to spend this summer like they usually do — chilling at the beach, spending time with family, growing flowers, and reaping the benefits that come from working their vegetable gardens.

An email survey conducted by the Eastern Shore Post showed most participants are already cranking up the air conditioning by setting it between 65 degrees and 80 degrees. They are looking forward to the last day of school, reading novels, and steaming crabs. Most said summer begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day.

They find pulling weeds and cutting grass to be the most boring of tasks. The favorite foods were homemade ice cream and cold watermelon.

Sheila Spelman, of Onancock, said her sibling and first cousins are hoping to hold a reunion this summer. “We are spread out over five states and it has been two years since our last get together in the Poconos,” she said. “Recalling childhood adventures with our parents and updating each other with news of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren warms the cockles of my heart.”

“When I was working our family summer tradition was to escape to the seashore or mountain lake to escape the stresses and demands of the job,” Spelman continued. “Now that I’m retired I’m more interested in exploring new places …  I begin my getaway when I want and return when I want — or when my money runs out. I don’t know how to plan fun … The most joyous vacation times I’ve had were unexpected and spontaneous.”

“Beach days, cookouts and camping trips” are the most important things that Jamie Replogle, of Belle Haven, will do this summer. Her tradition is spending as much time outdoors as weather permits.

Sam Serio, of Melfa, didn’t miss a chance to tell about the most important thing he will do this summer — produce the 32nd Annual Chincoteague Island Blueberry Festival. His traditional task will be growing flowers. The most fun will be watching his son, Griffin, graduate from high school. And, the most boring will be to weed his garden and clean his fishpond. His favorite summer food is tomatoes and summer squash.

Amber Evans, of Machipongo, said her daughter’s second year of swim lessons is most important to her. Evans will make her traditional and most fun bucket list of zoo trips and museum visits. She uses air conditioning “all year long” and loves fresh fruits and veggies.

“I am fortunate to live 20 minutes from the beach,” wrote Amy Eckard, of Temperanceville. “I have a year-round vacation.” She only uses air conditioning “when it gets really humid.”

Denise Bowden is a member of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department so Pony Penning activities including the carnival are her top priority in the summer. “I don’t know the definition of boring,” she wrote. “I don’t do summer vacation to go away. I spend my summer here right here on my beloved island and I try and make it last as long as possible.” 

“Every day is a vacation for me,” wrote Robert Doughty, of South Chesconessex. “I’m retired. However, summer begins when I put my shorts on and ends when I put my long pants back on.” His important job now is keeping his “large garden weed free and in good shape … My everyday routine is fun. Not much changes. It’s tradition.”

Bill Payne, of Cape Charles, said his top priority this summer will be painting, fixing, and lawn work. His tradition is “prepping for our annual Boys & Girls Club Swine and Wine Dinner fundraiser.” He rejects boring things “year round” and looks forward to traveling by auto and entertaining family and friends.

Betty Farley, of Parksley, has set her utmost goal on “attending the groundbreaking for the new ESVA Regional Library.” Wesley Edwards, of Belle Haven, will be going to his “grandkid’s college graduation.”

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