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Letter from the Editor

Love them or hate them, school buses weave through the fabric of our experience

One way or another, school buses take us all back to school.     As well as ever-safer and more standardized transport, they’re vehicles of cultural passage. Via the school bus, the freedom of childhood passes to the regimented life of schedules and hurry, bells and detentions. Mother lets go your hand and the motorized door opens to the wide world.     Little wonder school buses also travel our cultural byways as icons of rebellion.

Husband Bill has his say on our shared dogs

I’ve given away most of my space in this week’s Letter.          “I’ve had my say on the dogs you and I have shared,” I said to my husband, Bay Weekly co-founder Bill Lambrecht. “Now it’s your turn.”     Bill took the assignment, but his storytelling reflects his day job: 30 years of reporting on D.C. capitol doings.     Read on and you’ll see why he titled his story Capitol Leaks.

The other side of adventure is always danger

Water has drawn our species back ever since we left its embrace.     In Saharan cave drawings, ancestral swimmers frolic in weightlessness. On beaches and in pools, 21st century kids submerge with the same exhilaration.

It doesn’t need to be the Appalachian Trail to push you forward

Have you had your summer adventure yet?         Kids are going to camp, families to the beach, couples on cruises, boaters daring the Great Loop, RVers traveling the highways, sisters reuniting for long road trips, roamers climbing mountains, paddlers kayaking unfamiliar passages, sightseers wandering ­exotic cities …

Reflections on heroes and superheroes

Mayhem at the Deale Library, I feared, on seeing the Batman logo on its window and remembering that stylized bat, projected by searchlight, was Gotham City’s cry for the superhero’s help.     No, librarians explained. Anne Arundel and Calvert are among the Maryland libraries using the national theme Every Hero Has a Story to encourage kids to keep reading all summer long. Hence the bat logo and, hand-painted on the library door, the question Who’s your hero?

The eating is good and local

Plant a seed and it will grow. That’s the truth of midsummer, especially this wet midsummer when Earth up here in our northern hemisphere is cloaked in vegetation. You’ll remember it wasn’t like this six months ago; sticks and Earth were bare. Now it’s gangbusters.     Corn grows rampant. Cucumbers and squash hang pendulous and beans in curtains on their vines. Canes break out with raspberries. Tomatoes swell and burst in the sun. Earth reverts to the Garden of Eden, where it’s all yours for the picking.

Who gets to march in our parade?

Did you see America as your neighborhood’s Fourth of July parade marched, rolled and roared by?     That’s what we’re looking for, don’t you think, as we watch and wave from sidewalk and roadside.     The parades of Chesapeake Country were fresh in my mind the afternoon of this July Fourth when my son Nathaniel called from St. Louis to report on the parade in his community, Webster Groves.

Beyond pomp, parade and fireworks to shared heritage

Weather in Philadelphia in early July 1776, was hot and sticky, just as ours is 239 years later. Fifty-six suited, vested and stockinged men, some bewigged, were embroiled in a quarrelsome task: finding the words to declare independence from Mother England. Opinions, drafts and revisions flew. If the tall windows of Constitution Hall were open, as some paintings suggest, papers that made history rustled and declared their own independence.

Let’s give the guy a little respect

Parenting is a job that leaves nobody satisfied. Children, like Freudians, lay the blame for all sorts of neuroses at their parents’ feet. Spouses bash one another for inherited faulty genes and difficult personalities. Parents censure with themselves, even — or maybe especially — those who’ve read a book or two on the developing human body, mind and emotions and whose kids give behavioral testimony to their parental units’ having done a pretty good job. Try to compliment one of those, and you’ll hear a litany of nitpicking should-haves.

Wondering how we’ll fare as leadership changes at DNR

A pre-visit look at Bay Weekly’s Facebook post of a toothy snakehead had my visiting family afraid to go in the water.     No need to worry, I assured them. We’re reporting snakeheads in ponds, creeks, streams and rivers, not in the Chesapeake proper. On the other hand, visitors at the next-door Smiths waded with a pod of cownose rays. Then ensued a conversation about whether the first recorded encounter with a stingray was the fault of the stinger or of the stung, Captain John Smith.