A few days ago, I was sitting in my living room. It was minus 8 degrees outside.

I needed to run to the office but there was no way. I was not going out in sub zero temps. Have I mentioned before that I do not like cold?

Anyway, nice and warm in the corner of my living room, I picked up Forbes magazine. I began reading an article entitled, “America’s Top Ten Beaches of 2017.”

Apparently, Florida International University Professor Stephen P. Leatherman, a.k.a. Dr. Beach, created his annual list of best beaches in America. This was his 27th year to complete this task. He is the expert, I’m sure.

The criteria for his list were water temperature, sand quality, cleanliness, weather, facilities, and “whether the swimming beach is shared with fishers, boaters and water-skiers, and whether smoking is allowed.”

Dr. Beach selects his 10 top beaches out of 650 beaches, from coast to coast. I was a little irritated at the whole thought and discussion of 650 beaches. After all, it was minus 8 degrees outside my window.

Well, I completed reading the article, and determined it is time for me to create my own list of top 10 beaches in the US. Half of my grandchildren call me beach grandma, so I must be some kind of authority. You see, for 30 years every summer we met on the East Coast at my parents’ home in Pennsylvania.

After a few days visiting grandma and grandpa, we’d pile in the car and drive to either Dewey or Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for a week stay.

It’s been a total of 60 years since I’ve been visiting a beach, so I really must be an expert on beaches.

Let’s begin with my top 10 absolute needs for a beach.

First, you must have family with you. There is nothing as wonderful as having grandkids bury your feet in the sand or chase the waves. Ahhh, it is so refreshing.

Second, there must be a boardwalk. A beach is not a beach without a boardwalk. And the boardwalk must be at least a half mile long.

Third, there has to be sand crabs, sand, and seagulls.

Fourth, Thrashers fries are a must. When the fries are fresh out of the fryer, you can add salt, vinegar, catsup, and a variety of toppings. Don’t take the fries to the beach, or the seagulls will snatch them up.

Fifth, when it rains, you should be able to catch a movie. Every beach should have a movie theater.

Sixth, all beaches should have a water or amusement park, and a penny arcade. My daughter Ashley is addicted to the claw. And I believe she won every time she played the game.

Seventh, eighth, and ninth, you need a hotel or house, within the ocean block, and with a kitchen. You never know when the local cousins will come down for a visit.

Tenth, you need to be able to rent bikes and ride on the boardwalk in the early morning.

Oh, well, it is late and cold, and beach grandma, a.k.a. Diane, needs to stop dreaming and fix dinner.

Thanks for joining me in Delaware, also, known as the first state. In my opinion, Delaware has the best beach of all U.S. beaches.

-- Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email director@jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.