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Now that it's (almost) summer, stop and smell the sunflowers

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

The heat may be blazing and corn and gas prices rising higher than giraffes’ eyes.

What better time than summer, then, which officially clocks in at 7:59 p.m. EDT this Friday, June 20, than to stop and be thankful it’s finally here.

Never mind the heat or the humidity.

It’s el solsticio de verano, which only comes but once a year. I just hope it doesn’t bring any el ninos, la ninas or el hurrican-os along with it.

Without summer, we couldn’t enjoy July wildflowers lining the landscape along U.S. 17 or harvest delectable corn-on-the-cob and tomatoes from the garden or at the nearest produce stand.

Kids couldn’t celebrate a months-long recess from school, and there would be no summer library reading clubs nor dog days to complain about during sweltering August.

Summer also is the best time to be at the beach, which is what draws all these visitors and vacationers here.

It’s what has lured and kept most of us here, too, even though for too many locals it’s also their busiest time of the year. Too often, they’re too busy working to bask in it, so that they can live at the beach.

So who’s luckier?

Well, many locals say they are, even if they don’t make it to the beach that often.

Marc Kaplan, co-operator of The Island Market at Sunset Beach, is among them, noting just last week he “hasn’t been to the beach in years,” including ones spent toiling at the Sunset Beach Fishing Pier right at the beach.

No, he said, he’s not relaxing in a beach chair with a refreshing beverage. But he said it’s still a piece of heaven.

“I can still admire the view,” he said, ringing up customer orders. “I still don’t take it for granted. I know how lucky I am to be here.”

This summer, we should go out of our way and make time to enjoy the beach.

If you can’t afford to drive there, ride a moped or bicycle. If you don’t happen to own one of those handy-dandy gas-saving devices, then hitch a ride with a friend and offer to help pay for the $4 gas.

If you don’t have any friends, or at least not any who are beach-bound, then get out and get some exercise and walk to the beach. If you’re not able to walk, then God bless you.

This summer, I’ll try to take some of my own advice.

I’m going to the beach—as soon as I’m off summer deadlines.

Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.