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Letter from the Editor

A New Year’s lesson

When the clock struck 12, pushing Saturday, December 31 into Sunday, January 1, in that moment it was thinkable that a new you would rise from bed and into the world on New Year’s Day. Not too early that day.     A lot of energy rises from that possibility.

Meet the winners and learn their secrets of success

We’ve saved the best for last.         The Best of the Bay is our last word for 2011. It’s the news of the 11th hour of the 12th month.     It’s your judgment on who gives you the best value, service and satisfaction for your buck. On where you go for a good time. On what you like to do best in Chesapeake Country.

One great story calls for many others

Editor’s note: I write out of my Christian tradition on December 21, which is the Winter Solstice as well as, this year, the first day of the eight-day Jewish celebration of Chanukah. Whatever tradition we come from — Jewish, pagan or Christian — this time of year we celebrate, and tell our stories about, the coming of light into our world.

I bet you find your next book here

Are books following the horse and carriage down the road to obsolescence?

Answer that December call with the Parade of Lights and the Volvo Ocean Race

Like you, we’re playing carols, stringing lights and decorating the Christmas tree. (Practicing what the Bay Gardener preaches, we sawed a fire-safe Canaan fir at his Upakrik Farm, plunged it into a bucket of 100-degree water and stored it in the shade before it came inside.)

In December, lots of people do

There are people who believe that December brings magic into the world.     They want more than sparkle of terrestrial and celestial lights against the deep, dark velvet of the long night.     More than the decorations of yard, house, door and home. More than full-scale illuminations of parks and gardens.     More than Christmas trees and candy canes and gingerbread houses.

So now’s the time to turn thanks into giving

On last week’s visit to St. Louis, six-year-old granddaughter Ada showed us how high she can count: all the way to 100.     On Thanksgiving Day’s annual inventory, she needs all those numbers and more to count her blessings.     Like Ada, most of the family and friends with whom I share three Thanksgiving feasts need good math skills, especially addition and multiplication, to count their blessings. Like our Thanksgiving tables, we are weighted with abundance.

Welcome the Season of Bounty

This may be my favorite paper of 2011.         The reason is simple. It’s the winning combination of good food and good times.     Summer is the season I love best, but these dwindling weeks of the year are hard to beat. The light leaves us early, but before it goes, it’s as golden as the leaves. Under the warming influence of the Chesapeake, temperatures are often balmy. Early twilights rage in hot pink and smoky blue.

Memorials and stories preserve our memories

Pilgrimages to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., are final journeys for many of the long-lived veterans of World War II. These elderly men and women from around the nation come every day of the year, but the days surrounding Veterans Day bring them in great numbers. The weather has been good to them this year, so they linger to ponder in comfort, seeing sights and refreshing memories beyond the imagining of one who has not shared them. Still, the atmosphere of the solemn place is charged with their presence, and history lives palpably.

The theory’s simple: Eat your enemies and your friends thrive

Will northern snakehead join Chilean sea bass, Alaskan halibut, North Atlantic swordfish and Chesapeake rockfish as catch of the day at your favorite seafood restaurant?     The toothy invader’s potential as cuisine depends less on taste than availability.     Their tasty versatility was proved last week at The Rockfish Raw Bar and Grill, where 100 pre-Halloween diners gobbled the white-fleshed invader in four ways.