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Features (Good Living)

West River Wickets take their croquet mallets to Maryland ­Senior Olympics

Bill Brewer plays croquet with the dedication of a founding father.
    From his back yard, croquet rose from an excuse for a party “with lots of rum” to a championship game played by ambitious senior Olympians.
    Next week, Maryland Senior Olympics competition adds its first croquet tournament. Brewer’s team, the nationally recognized West River Wickets Croquet Club, will be there to strike for gold.
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We’re all sorry to see summer go. So we’ve resolved to keep our summer mind-set through autumn. Read on for 50 ways to enjoy the fun of fall in Chesapeake Country.

1. Pick Fall’s Fat Crabs
    Crabs have been scarce all season, hard to catch and accordingly pricy. About this time of year, we usually get a bonanza.
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Build your strength while extending your reach beyond arm’s length

For bicycle riders in the Haiti 80, your pleasure in speed and endurance bring hope and help to the school children in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, where more than half the people live on less than one dollar a day. La Resurrection School in Gros Morne has been under the wing of St. Martins-in-the-Field Episcopal Church in Severna Park for 28 years. A newer bright idea, only two years old, puts some spin on that partnership.
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Chew on these tales of bad behavior before you add a new member to your family

Through the beveled glass oval of the front door, I could see trouble. My friend and hair-stylist Kathy Burns’ brother was not making a social call. His khaki uniform meant he had come on official business. Dogcatcher business.
    The dog in question, Slip Mahoney, wasn’t home. Wherever he was, he had stirred up enough commotion to bring out the dogcatcher.
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Travel Maryland with your pets

You work all week and want to relax on the weekends — get away perhaps? The only thing keeping you on the leash at home is you can’t bear to leave your furry friend behind.
    Your problem is solved by Visit Maryland’s new directory of Fido-friendly destinations. The list includes places throughout Maryland where both you and your pet are welcome to visit, stay or play.
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    Calvert County’s feral cat sanctuary is home to many cats who would otherwise have been destroyed, yet there is not a scruffy one among them. All have beautiful thick coats in the winter, and I wondered how each cat would manage the transition to summer.
    Turns out, nature provides fallen tree limbs. Branches and still-pliable twigs serve as stationary cat-combs.
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    Of course there are some who like it hot. In winter, Scruffy sits on a heat vent to warm his bottom. But in summer, Scruffy and Dewey leave the air-conditioned house and head for the warm and cozy garage. Dewey’s spot is under the car or in front of the garage door, while Scruffy lounges on top of the car or in an old lawn chair. In the garage, the boys search for bugs, lizards and mice to play with and eat — and sometimes bring into the house.
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You remember those days, the excitement — or terror — a new school year brings, mixed with the sorrow of letting go of summer.
    It’s a story each of us shares and each generation repeats. Yet each person’s story enriches the theme with delicious detail.
    As the 2013 school year begins, we’ve asked 12 kids (and one surprise returnee) — kindergarten through 12th grade — for their views.
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That’s a job for the Green Team

The World Biggest Crab Feast didn’t make the world’s biggest mess this year.
    Some 4,500 pounds of food scraps — about one-quarter of the food waste produced by the massive feast — will turn into compost instead of hogging precious landfill space.
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Dee of St. Mary’s is your one chance on the Western Shore

Shanghaied into labor, two able-bodied passengers grapple a stout line hand over hand to hoist the 2,000-square-foot Dacron mainsail of the skipjack Dee of St. Mary’s up her 72-foot tree-trunk mast. Then First Mate John Fulchiron crawls out on the 19-foot bowsprit to raise the smaller jib. And off Dee goes.
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