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Letter from the Editor

We’re the top strata

History is the byproduct of daily life.         Dip a toe or jump into Maryland Day celebrations and you drift into that conclusion.

Snow, too, if I had my way

I’d love to tax the rain.     

Seizing life’s moments while dreaming of summer days at camp

This week’s paper, featuring our annual Summer Camp Guide, is not 100 percent wishful thinking.     But enough of it is to take your mind off present ­circumstances.

Harriet Tubman now conducting tours

History is a bigger hall nowadays, with room at the table for more people than the old white guys who used to rule there. So a good story for any week of the year is the new prominence coming to Harriet Tubman as a hero of Maryland, New York and our nation.     Harriet Tubman, a contemporary of Abe Lincoln, escaped slavery only to return home, to Dorchester County, to conduct many more enslaved people along the Underground Railroad she had followed to freedom.

Can our Free Will Astrologer break the late-winter blues?

Now is the winter of our discontent.         Cold February lingers like a crust of dirty snow. Pipes freeze and people shiver. Spring may be only weeks away, but getting there is a slog.     You’ve got to be real creative to talk yourself out of such a state.     Enter Rob Breszny, our Free Will Astrologer.

Start with a little resveratrol, add tryptophane …

My mother was not always right.         But in hitting the nail on the head, she had far better accuracy than I credited.     A woman who believed she could do anything, she invested even more of her capital in cooking than she did in looking good. And she looked very, very good.     The way to a man’s heart is his stomach, she advised.     Ohhh mother! I scoffed, for that was back in the day when I believed love sought you for yourself alone.

Six more weeks of winter? Let it snow.

At first it shone fresh in memory, the gold filigree earring formed on a redbud leaf bought for me by my husband on a book tour visit to Nebraska’s Arbor Day Farm, where good practical environmentalism pairs abundantly with good food. But in the cold days and weeks after I lost it — after I’d searched coat collars, scarves, carpets and car crannies —it faded into forgetfulness.

Friends and foes, we’ve got a lot to thank him for

The Tax Man. That’s the tag the incoming Republican establishment wants to pin on the back of the governor no more as he walks out the door.     Former Gov. Martin O’Malley did indeed oversee hikes in the sales tax, the gas tax and taxes on corporations and big earners.       But before all we remember of Martin O’Malley is the epithet of the victors, I want to summon a few other images.

From Jim Toomey to Charlie Hebdo, we need their levity

In any of 150 newspapers around the world — including the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun — you can bump into Jim Toomey any day of the week.     But Bay Weekly kept the world-famous creator of Sherman’s Lagoon waiting in line.     What kind of way is that to treat a neighbor?     Toomey, who draws Sherman the shark and his aquatic friends from his West Annapolis home, makes a good story any week of the year. But I wanted the perfect week.

Birds and squirrels, horses and riders

I took Bay Weekly at its word.         “The best way to start learning about birds is to put up a feeder,” advised international birder Colin Rees, conveyed in Dotty Doherty’s Dec. 4 story Winter Is for the Birds. Today I’m reaping the rewards of refilling and hanging my feeders to celebrate Christmas for the birds.