The old guy took his annual spring inspection tour of Ocean City’s beach Friday and all appears to be well. The beach is not the same as it was last year and that is as it should be. As is its nature, Ocean City’s oceanfront has reshaped, redesigned and recreated itself as if in preparation for the new season. And the changes that have been wrought have little to do with the feeble attempts of man and his beach replenishment programs. The entire shoreline has been re-configured for the new summer. Slowly and ponderously the elements have transported tons upon tons of sand from one portion of the beach to another. Carried on the surges of the tides and the broom-like sweeps of the wind, nature has taken the sand as it willed and deposited it where it chose.
In some cases, Mother Nature has taken much of our prized beach and carried it miles out to sea, there to hold it on storage for re-deposit at a later day or perhaps a later century. Giant onshore dunes have been slowly and carefully reshaped and smoothed to a sculptured perfection and now await the first footprints of exploring vacationers. And back on the back numerous navigable channels of last summer are not shallows of mere one or two feet. Yet, everytime nature takes a waterway from us, it supplies us with a new deep water channel but hides its location with an impishness that is almost human. So, adventure awaits those bold enough to search out the new channels leading, perhaps, to water areas that have yet to be traveled by man or boat. The Ocean City we knew in 2008 is gone forever, replaced by an exciting new shoreline that is even now awaiting discovery.
We don’t say “Good Morning!” or “Good Evening!” anymore and it’s becoming more and more difficult to extend any kind of greeting. Usually what Insider hears when he attempts to greet a friend is “How are you doing?” and that automatically cuts off his return greeting. Hey, it calls for an answer, and every time the old guy goes into great detail as to how he is doing the greeter walks away. And the peak of nonsense is when Insider asks a friend how he is doing at the same time he asks the old guy how he is doing. Both inquiries are usually followed by dead silence as the two each hurry away from an awkward situation. Let’s stop trying to be clever and original all the time. A simple salute in the accepted tradition would certainly save everybody a lot of time.
Learn from the mistakes of others – you can never live long enough to make them all yourself.