A big, quirky house, ideally located overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Rehoboth Beach, summons my wife and me three times a year. Our recent visit weeks ago featured beautifully pleasant and sunny weather.
We were very content. Family members and a longtime friend joined us. The world seemed welcoming.
Our journey through Sussex County, Del. worsens every time we travel to the beach for a dosage of tranquillity. Once productive farmland now sprouts thousands of new homes, apartments, office buildings and fitness centers. Planned growth is an oxymoron.
Any rural beauty that may have existed is a distant memory. Two-lane country roads lead to Route 1, the primary corridor to bustling Rehoboth Beach. Bordered by outlet shopping centers, fast food emporiums, restaurants, hotels and big box stores, Route 1 tests your patience, a virtual obstacle course leading to a semblance of relaxation.
Delaware has become a haven for retirees. No wonder. The state has no sales tax, imposes no tax on Social Security benefits and exempts $12,000 of retirement income. No need to retire to Florida, just put down your roots in the Mid-Atlantic and foreswear the nutty politics and frequent hurricanes of the Sunshine State.
Mind you, Rehoboth Beach is best when the mass of tourists, often recognizable by their body art, are gone. Hence, we visit in October, November (Thanksgiving) and early May (prior to Memorial Day. We feel blessed to enjoy quiet and serenity. Cool weather does not bother us.
Readers may find my observations snooty and off-putting. I would understand that reaction. Solitude is tough to find, except in the scenic states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. We have placed our bets in a place we love at times we find pleasurable.
And Rehoboth Beach also offers celebrity-watching in the form of President and Mrs Biden. The Bidens enjoy a beach house about two blocks from the ocean. I must confess that I would not mind a peek.
Sussex County is oblivious to sound planning. Route 1 offers multiple lights and constant traffic. Rehoboth Beach is a gem, particularly sparkling when the crowds have gone home. We wait patiently for the fall.
Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland. Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer. After 44 years in Easton, Howard and his wife, Liz, moved in November 2020 to Annapolis, where they live with Toby, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel who has no regal bearing, just a mellow, enticing disposition.