1. You’re here to relax and enjoy your day. We have wildlife, residents, tractors and other things that may slow you down on the few roads you can take west-east. Slow down and enjoy the sights. That farm stand, restaurant, beach or winery is not going anywhere. It’ll be there when you get there.
2. Our farm fields are not public roads. Stay out of them. Do not destroy others’ property because you’re sick of sitting in traffic. You came here for a reason — deal with it. You won’t be stuck here forever.
3. We appreciate your business but don’t need your “I’m spending my money here so I’m more important than you” attitude. We don’t care how much money you have. We have money too. Don’t be a jerk to the locals. We give up a lot for you. Imagine your town being invaded by obnoxious people every single weekend, making it virtually impossible to do the things and run the errands you can’t do during week — only to be honked at, passed at a high rate of speed or given an obscene gesture because you chose to stop or slow down to let that turtle, turkey, pheasant, duck, goose, squirrel, or bicyclist safely pass.
4. “Tasting” wine or other spirits and then driving is dangerous and quite possibly illegal. Find a responsible designated driver or limo company to get you around. Tell them not to make U-turns!
5. Those little farmstands that operate under the honor system are not free for anyone to just take whatever you want because no one is there to watch you. If you want free stuff grow your own. Seeds are cheap.
6. Someone’s scenic and beautiful yard is not an impromptu picnic area. It’s private property. There are plenty of parks and beaches for a picnic.
7. Do not leave your garbage anywhere, especially on our beaches.Please do not throw it out the window of your car. There really are cans everywhere along the way. Dispose of your trash properly or take it with you.
8. Watch your kids!! Don’t let them out of yours or someone’s sight for a minute. Hire a babysitter if you’re having a party.
9. Move out of the way of emergency vehicles. It’s a law. Don’t hurt or kill one of our volunteers or police officers because you’re not paying attention or think you are too important to move over or stop.
10. Don’t text and drive and stop pulling stupid U-turns if you pass where you were supposed to go. I promise you there is a safe spot to turn around within a 1/4 mile of where you screwed up.
And finally, enjoy our hometown. We make it nice for you so please return the favor and make it nice for us to have you here and want you to come back.
Tanya Zaleski is a lifelong Flanders resident
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