Summertime and the Living’s Easy


Dana McDonald

Cool 101.3 Mornings (5:30-10 a.m.)


Now that it’s “officially” Summer 2019, my mind is in overdrive thinking about all of the fun things I want to cram into the next three months…the beach, ballgames, crabs, birthday parties (all 3 of my boys are summer babies), cookouts, pool parties, concerts…and an ice cold beer or two! So much to do, so little time! The thought of it all brings back some of the greatest memories I have of summers past.

Even now at the tender young age of 57, one of the very first memories to pop into my head was visiting my grandparents for 2 weeks every summer at their home on the Wye River in Queen Anne’s County in Maryland. They had a beautiful home that sat right on the river, and my grandfather was a real outdoorsman who taught me how to fish, catch and pick crabs, shoot guns and bows and arrows, drive a riding mower (shhhh…don’t tell my mom!) and so much more! On one particular morning during my 2 week visit in the summer of 1968, my grandfather walked into my bedroom at about 5 a.m., gently shook me, and asked if I wanted to go crabbing with him…”you bet” I said.

So we had breakfast, loaded our gear on to the boat, and away we went! It was a beautiful morning and as the sun came up over the river, the smell of coffee, gasoline and eel hung heavy in the air! My grandfather used a 1000 foot trot line with pieces of eel about every 10 feet. At 7 years old I remember two things, it was gross, and it stunk! Well after we finished putting the line out, it was time to catch crabs! So we looped around, put the trot line over the roller on the side of the boat, and slowly began dipping crabs one by one (sometimes doubles and even triples!) out of the Wye River. After about an hour, we had more than2 bushels of crabs, and they were beginning to overflow out of the bushel baskets and onto the floor of the boat…a good and bad problem to have! “Watch out” my grandfather said, if one of those guys get a hold of your toes, you’ll know it.

My grandparents were having a crab feast at their house later that afternoon, and about 90 minutes into our adventure, my grandfather decided that we had enough to feed everyone…so we took our bounty back to the house, fired up the steamer, and ate steamed crabs until I thought I was going to pop! That same afternoon, he introduced me to oysters! “So delicious” he said…to me, they looked like boogers. After much convincing by my grandfather and my father, I decided to try one… I made the mistake of treating it like it was a piece of gum! Haven’t liked oysters ever since.

My grandfather has long since passed, but that memory is as fresh today as it was 50 years ago! That was just one summer memory of course, there have been thousands more since then… trips to the beach and the mountains with my parents, Disney World with my kids, amusement parks, fishing, baseball games, cookouts and fireworks, and way too many things to mention here.

My boys are now 15, 12, and 9, and growing up WAY too quickly! We’ve created some great summer memories together during those years, and as a father I hope they are memories that will bring a smile to THEIR faces 50 years from now.

I can’t wait to see what the summer of 2019 brings! Have a fun and safe summer everyone, and go make some memories.

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