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An invitation 193 years coming

At 193 years, this journey was long, even for one used to the arduous journeys of the Underground Railway. This week, Harriet Tubman — a criminal in her own time — was welcomed by Maryland’s first family into their home.
    She comes in bronze, as the first bust of an African American to be displayed in Government House.
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It takes a special trailer to haul a 58-ton boat

The waterfront hamlet of Deale sees plenty of boat traffic. But nothing like the 80-foot sportfisherman stopping traffic on the street.
    The boat — atop a very long blue trailer — had an entourage, led by a Maryland State Police squad car and followed by escorts on truck and foot.
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In winter, Maryland horse riders head to balmy Florida

When the first cold winds of winter blow through, some intrepid riders pile on layer upon layer of warm clothing to keep riding outdoors. Still, snow, ice and frozen ground often send them hunting for the friend of a friend’s indoor arena.
    Warmer-blooded riders scheme ways to get themselves and their horses to warmer climates, trading down-filled coats for T-shirts and heavy blankets for lightweight flysheets.
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Great Expectations

16 Chesapeake neighbors answer one tough question: What do you see in your future in 2015?

New years make optimists of us. Once again, we believe that determination or luck will win out, making us healthy, wealthy and wise in the unmapped year ahead. If past years have brought disappointments and damage, well, let old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind. Let the good times roll!
    For all our faith and frenzy, every new year is full of surprises likely to steamroll our puny human plans.
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Happy Neuter Year!

January $20-campaign makes ­forward thinking a bargain

The beginning of a new year is time for thinking ahead. The unfettered fertility of male animals is a direct cause of the some 45,000 cats and dogs euthanized each year in Maryland at a cost of millions of dollars.
    So if your pet is part of the problem, the time is right to get the problem fixed. This month, Rude Ranch’s Spay Spa & Neuter Nook, in Davidsonville, is offering 150 Happy Neuter Year sterilizations at the affordable price of $20.
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54 projects share $1.4 million

With losing weight the number one New Year’s resolution — and keeping fit and healthy number 5 — you’ll no doubt agree that the $1.4 million Marylanders just invested in trails is money well spent.
    The state’s $1.4 million-share of Federal Highway Department recreational trail spending will create or improve 54 trails from ocean to mountains in 2015.
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After nearly 50 Christmases in the department store’s windows, he’s now part of my family’s tradition

A life-size Santa Claus — donned in authentic red velvet suit, black belt and patent leather boots with a full angel-hair-spun beard — stands by my living room window all year round.
    He’s too fragile a chapter of history to stuff away in a corner of my two-car garage.
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Our family visits make us ­reconcile good and evil
 

Once more this year, my family and I spent part of the Christmas season in Germany. The tradition began because of my husband Jonathan’s good memories of the year his family lived in Munich, when he was 10.

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DNR’s calendar makes your indoors out

With your 2014 calendar just about used up, what are you going to hang on the wall in 2015 to replace it?
    Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ 2015 calendar is a best bet for us whose lifestyles keep us inside looking at walls rather than out in Maryland’s beauty.
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Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Center plays Santa to injured critters but needs your help

Dozens of raptors were among the thousands of animals rescued this year by the Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Center in Lusby.
    One stands out for her size and the relationship she formed with her rescuers.
    Big Bird, as she was called, was rescued from a farm in southern Maryland. A nesting mother with three babies and a mate in a nearby tree, she had a broken left wing. What caused her injuries was never learned.
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