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Bay Weekly’s pick of 2012 wall calendars

In the language of old movies, falling calendar pages symbolized the passing of time. Years could go by in seconds, just as 2011 surely has done. Now December is about to top the pile of the last 11 months. So it’s time to choose a new calendar.     Most of us still do that, you know. Or have a calendar chosen for us, as calendars rank high in holiday gifts exchanged among acquaintances.

Volunteers take flight each year so that isolated Tangier Island has a green Christmas

The miracle of flight has long been Santa’s secret to guaranteed overnight delivery, but sometimes the reindeer need a break. During the pre-Christmas rush they’re in demand everywhere, including some pretty remote locales. So how does the big guy make a day trip to a place like Tangier Island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, a place where even the closest landlubbers depend on ferries to make the 12-mile crossing?

Make the first gift to yourself by savoring the Season’s Bounty as you shop.

If you’re one of those people who love to shop, you can stop reading now and go wrap some presents.         But if it takes eight crazed reindeer to drag you to the store during the holidays, this story is for you.     You’ve seen the news, read the paper. You’re thinking OMG. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Waiting overnight in ridiculously long lines. Mad dashes for sale merchandise. Customers crushed and pepper sprayed. All while shopping? Yikes!

Five heart-warming ways to expand your giving circle

“The need in the world is so great that we cannot reach everyone by doing just our part. We must expand our reach exponentially so more and more lives can be touched,” says Steve Anstett of Severna Park, executive director of Giving Back, Linda’s Legacy.     From Thanksgiving to Chanukah and Christmas, we live in the season of giving.

Carolyn Surrick’s 125 lunch hours at Walter Reed made music into poetry

    He ends up here     For surgery     Or therapy, or prosthetics     And time goes really slowly.     Again.     –Day One (last stanza) Until Walter Reed Army Medical Center ended its 102-year mission on August 27, it was one sure place to measure the long shadow cast from September 11, 2011.

CalvART Country Fairs show gets you ready for county fairs

At world fairs, you could see it all. At state fairs, you could see most everything under the sun. At county fairs, you could see quite a bit.     Still can.     The Maryland State Fair has just ended, ushering in the county fair season: Anne Arundel’s County Fair runs September 14 thru 18, followed by Calvert County’s Fair September 28 thru October 2.

How we earned our first paychecks

When you are first asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, Certainly I can! Then get busy and find out how to do it. –Theodore Roosevelt

Once your school days are behind you, it’s time to learn for fun

Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was barking up the wrong tree. Or visiting the wrong classroom.

My dad waited too long to learn to fly. I’m correcting his mistake.

A mile above the beach, I soar higher than the gulls, crisp air bathing my outstretched arms, bare feet dangling in the void. The faint whoosh in my ears could be my unfettered thoughts, some vacant, some frantic as bees.     I’ve always been enchanted by the dream of flight, the Icarus myth. This is my dream come true, my ultralight flying experience, my life’s greatest rush and the reason for my current obsession: flying lessons.

Dogs Finding Dogs sniffs out missing pets

Heidi doesn’t run. She surges. The original tracker for Maryland’s Dogs Finding Dogs, Heidi is expert at following the scents of animals who leave home without their owners. When the black German shepherd gets the scent, she follows her nose wherever it takes her: through brush, across mud, over concrete and anywhere else your pet may have gone.