The Long-Awaited Summer

Working from home is getting silly, as CBM Editorial Director Meg Walburn Viviano dons her life jacket for National National Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day.

And what to do with it 

By Meg Walburn Viviano 

It’s Memorial Day weekend, long heralded as the kickoff to summer. This year it feels like we’ve been waiting longer than ever for summer to come—with the shadow of the pandemic cast over all of last summer, we saw relatively few friends or extended family, and we didn’t dare make major vacation plans or hold events. 

This summer brings the anticipation of many things. For me, it’s participating in a friend’s June wedding and traveling to see my in-laws in the Midwest for the first time in 18 months. And enjoying the summertime traditions of Chesapeake Country—as they come back slowly but surely. 

This week Annapolis came alive as the celebrations of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Commissioning Week returned. The Blue Angels flight demonstration squad went screaming through the city once again and the CBM Bay Weekly family gathered in person to take in the air show. It was the first time we’d seen each other in real life in more than a year. 

The last time our staff was physically together, our newly-formed team under CBM ownership had only produced 11 Bay Weekly issues. The state’s stay-at-home order quickly scattered our newspaper staff from Calvert County to Baltimore City and everywhere in between. Since then, we’ve proudly published 62 issues from our remote “newsroom”, relying heavily on videocalls and endless messages and emails. Our team had not laid eyes on one another until the famed Blue Angels took to the skies. 

We “oohed,” “aahed”, and got chills when the jets swooped low in formation. All the while we bantered back and forth like normal co-workers—the kind of banter that happens organically in the office, but almost never over a videoconference call. Reconnecting away from our home offices was energizing, and we’re carrying that energy into this week’s paper. 

As we usher in the summer season, you’ll find practical advice to help you tackle some of the Chesapeake region’s most popular pandemic-era pastimes. Think family fishing trips, boat rides, outdoor movies at home and … mountain biking? Believe it or not, this sport is trending in Chesapeake Country where there’s a network of top-notch trails hiding right under our noses in Annapolis (as you’ll see in our feature Bike the Bay). Seasoned mountain bikers love the trail surfaces created by our unique watershed location. 

One time out on the Bay and you’ll see boating is enjoying the same level of popularity. That means plenty of new boaters and plenty of safety concerns. The pros tell us the most important things you can do when boating—especially at night—to avoid a serious tragedy. (Yes, life jackets are part of it, but there’s a lot more to consider.) 

Whether on a boat or standing on shore, our Sporting Life angler gives a primer on what to fish for, where to go, and how to do it safely … follow his guidelines and you may even catch something. Don’t have a rod? Depending on where you live, you can check one out of an Anne Arundel County library

Whatever it is that you’re most looking forward to this summer, we hope this issue helps you get started. The best part: none of these activities involve a single videoconference call.