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Letter from the Editor

Beyond generosity to jobs

It seems like just yesterday that I last saw you here, but here it is a whole year later. 2013 — so recently new and now all used up — raced into history in record time. 2014 will go just as fast, so we’d best plan right now to make best use of it.     That was the resolution I drank to as midnight, December 31, turned 2013 into the thin stuff of memory. New Year, I said, I’m going to make something of you. Like the Broadneck Trail you’ll read about in this issue, I’m going some place this year.

And plenty of good reading now and in the new year

Isn’t this a complex time of year?         On the one hand, we’re rushing about to create perfect Martha Stewart holidays. Deck the halls, trim the tree, bake the cookies, plan the parties, shop and spend, choose the presents and wrap them. Ah to be Jewish, with Chanukah already celebrated and put to rest.     On the other, we’re harkening back to a perfect time of peace, comfort and joy, whether our ideal is a Silent Night, White Christmas or some other Good Olde Day.

The only time zone big enough for Season’s Bounty in Chesapeake Country

Don’t you love it when you finally find a use for some of the stuff you learned in school?     We liberal arts majors at St. Louis University, a Jesuit school, had to minor in philosophy, and most of those 18 hours of theoretic thinking buzzed right by me. Yet here I am, reveling in my recent illumination of a new way to understand time, that favorite subject of philosophers. For I’ve realized that I am a denizen of The Eternal Now.

More ways to share in this season of thanks and giving

Bay Weekly reader Nadine Snyder wants to know where to donate outgrown but still good clothing. So she called to ask if we’ll soon be running a listing of drop-offs for clothing donations.     Thank you, Nadine, for asking because that was the missing ingredient in this week’s feature story, our annual Thanksgiving take on charitable giving.

Season’s Bounty Heralds the Holidays

For us at Bay Weekly, this week’s paper arrives like Christmas.     The wait has been long and ticklish with anticipation. Preparation has kept us busy for days and nights, our keyboards ringing like tools in elfish workshops. Visions of what’s to come have danced in our heads.     Now the wait is over.     With this week’s paper, Christmas arrives.     In this season of sharing, it falls from our hands into yours.

How to beat Bay Weekly cruciverbalist Ben Tausig

I’m no Bill Clinton.         The 42nd president of the United States gets no competition on crosswords from my family. Even working together, husband Bill Lambrecht and I can’t approach Clinton’s unofficial record for finishing the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in less than an hour.

The season is all about change and the ways we make ourselves love it

I didn’t mean to do it.     Writing this week’s Creature Feature about burrowers, hibernators and fall feeders in the wild was a spontaneous decision, evolved from the spectacle of squirrels falling from the sky.     Yet in retrospect, Ah! I recognize that choice as proof of the unaccountable power of the unconscious mind. For I’ve been all about burrowing.

This week: installment one of three on ­striking out hunger

Reading Learning to Care and Give, Bob Melamud’s story for this week’s paper, kindles a spark of envy in me.     Six-year-old Katie Asher is just beginning to understand the meaning of caring and giving, Melamud writes. Every morning she drops a can of food into the collection boxes at Davidsonville Elementary, where she is a first-grader.     By high school, he continues, students like Tina Depietro, who built a food-can sculpture for South River High, embrace the values of empathy, giving and volunteerism.

How to tell a spooky story

We like to be scared. Maybe not too much, but enough to feel the chill of possibility in our bones.     As chilling night temperatures tell us the frost is near, time has come to tell spooky stories.     This week, Bay Weekly guides you to the haunts of Chesapeake Country in a special section of Halloween Tricks and Treats.     We have a spooky story, too, imagined and written for you by Richard Johnson of Deale.

This is the scary season

Timing is everything in the harvesting of figs. Take the fruit too early and you lose the sugar. Wait a moment too long, and the bugs — wasps, flies, ants and Hercules beetles — beat you to it. Or the squirrels, who I watched running up the hill with ripe figs in their mouths. This weekend, looking down on my tree from an upper balcony, I saw the dried-out stems and shriveled tops of the last of the fruit.     In the vegetable kingdom, perfection is a moment followed by swift death.