Business owner/philanthropist Michelle DiFebo Freeman has overcome challenges with gumption and generosity

By Lynn R. Parks  |  Photograph by Carolyn Watson
From the May 2017 issue

may-MichelleFreeman Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #102On a mantel in the Freeman home in Potomac, Md., sits a candlestick that was once used as a prop by the Washington National Opera. The candlestick was last on stage 16 years ago, when it sat on a desk during a production of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.”

In the audience for that performance — seated in one of the boxes at the Kennedy Center Opera House — were Sussex County residents Joshua Freeman and Michelle DiFebo. Josh was on the board of the opera company, a seat that his father had held before him, and Michelle, part of a large Italian family, had grown up listening to opera.

“It was Christmas,” Michelle recalls. “The opera was in the first act” — lead characters Figaro and Susanna were preparing for their wedding, which was to take place later that day. “There was a moment when the music was quiet and all of a sudden, Josh was on one knee, asking me to marry him. It was really beautiful. I said, ‘Yes.’ And then we left.”

The couple had been going out off and on for seven years. On their second date, Michelle, who had a then-3-year-old son, asked Josh if he ever intended to marry. “He didn’t have to say that he was going to marry me,” she says. “But I didn’t date willy-nilly. Being married and having a family life was important to me. If he didn’t plan on marrying, then I wasn’t interested in dating him.”

Make the most of the summer of ’17

By Pam George | Photograph by Marc Clery
From the May 2017 issue

may-feature-seize-summer Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #102Summer is sneaky. When a few days of eagerly awaited warmth whet our appetite for fun in the sun, we start dreaming of all the things we’ll do this year. But as the hot days start ticking by it’s easy to fall back into the daily grind. We don’t make time to catch those sunsets over the bay or take our bike for a spin on a scenic trail. Before we know it, Labor Day has arrived. So wake up and smell the sunscreen! This year, don’t let summer pass you by — seize it!

Here are a few ideas for making the most of the best season of the year. (We’ll leave that summer-or-fall argument for later.) Check out these suggestions and add your own to our Facebook page. More importantly, get going!

1. Catch the wind

You’ll get a new perspective on coastal Delaware when you view it from the water. “It’s just so refreshing to get away from Route 1 during the season,” says Ann Whaley, vice commodore for the Reho­both Bay Sailing Association. “Once we get out of the marina and put the sails up, it’s so quiet.”

When it comes to watercraft rentals and location, the RBSA is among the best-kept secrets at the beach. The facility is located off Route 1 just south of the Rehoboth Bay Marina and Dewey Beach. There is a clubhouse with a stunning view, as well as shower facilities and a kitchen, where you can store your lunch. (Or, after your sail, order a pizza from a nearby restaurant and reflect on your day with a slice.)

You know all the typical landmarks. Now go discover the offbeat sites!

By Fay Jacobs | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the May 2017 issue

may-feature-scavenger-hunt Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #102

Anybody can find the Rehoboth Beach Museum, the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes (but can you pronounce it?) or the Nanticoke Indian Museum in Millsboro. And you should! But there are other amazing historical — and hysterical — sites (and sights) here on the Delaware coast.

I came to this topic after my own weird discovery on a trip to southern Virginia. Along the road I spied a sign that said “Foamhenge.” I stopped to investigate and discovered a hilarious life-size replica of England’s iconic Stonehenge, constructed entirely from foam rubber. You can’t make these things up.

So, it got me thinking. Does the Delaware coast have some oddities of its own? Curious, I rounded up some friends and we went on a hunt for local oddities that are worth a look. The safari was so much fun, we here at Delaware Beach Life want to send you on a hunt of your own.

Here are a delicious dozen unique sites within driving distance of the beach. How many of these fascinating but relatively unbeaten-path attractions can you find? You can take the trip all at once in a full day of drive-and-seek, or track down a few attractions at a time. Whatever way you approach it, there’s fun to be had.