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Letter from the Editor

Forecasting this General Assembly’s environmental future

When your well runs dry — as Michelle Steel’s did, as you’ll read in this week’s feature story — you’re an outlier. In our part of the country, rural living is a luxury. Suddenly you’re paying for that luxury.     When you live on county or city water, you’re part of a collective that shares the hidden cost of bringing this precious resource into your home in the country. When your well runs dry, you’re on your own.

In 2013, anything is possible

Welcome back to the future!         Don’t you love going though the tunnel and coming out on the other side?     I find the exhilaration habit-forming. Fortunately, it’s annual.     I go into the tunnel of year’s end gleefully, but I leave it dragging my feet against the re-emergence.

It’s time we vow to take better care of one another

Bay Weekly’s 51st issue of the year celebrates family, the warm nest where we are born and nurtured.     For this is the season of birth, which we enter each year in hopes of renewal.     If it seems to you a little odd — as it does to me — that our cultural feasts of rebirth fall in the darkest time of the year, when in our cold clime is just setting in, there’s good reason.

Peace, goodwill and Slack Winery’s Pink Shoals

Read any good Christmas lists lately?         Good will and peace on Earth continue to top every list, as we haven’t gotten there yet. Despite the best efforts of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, those eternal aspirations remain elusive.

Children of the revolutions, we make them out of bits and pieces

After the war was over, the Founding Fathers must have been at loose ends.     Winning your independence from the past is one thing. Creating a future from scratch is entirely another. Like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution’s laid out a map of lofty principles. But if every step of daily life had to be invented anew to conform to those principles, revolutionary life would have been very existential.

Food waste is good business

Did you get enough to eat at your Thanksgiving feast?         Yes, thank you.     For most Americans, enough is not the problem.     We live amid abundance so great that, try as we might, we can’t eat it all up.

Steal a minute of mindfulness from cooking turkeys and playing Santa

Blub … blub … blub … blub …             That’s the rhythm that tells you your Southern Maryland stuffed ham is boiling its way to perfection. So says Celeste Furey of St. Leonard, hostess of an annual pre-Thanksgiving all-day stuffing party.     Blub … … … … blub … … … … blub … … … … blub … … … … is too slow.

Embracing time as it comes, from the Thanksgiving feast to the New Year

Lucky us!     Chesapeake Country is far enough north on Earth’s temperature grid for us to be feeling the chill. Degree by falling degree, we draw into our homes, layer on our wool and fleecy clothes and light our fires. Turning inward and homeward, we’re in sync with the season that celebrates hearth and home.     (How our neighbors in southern climes enter the spirit of the winter holidays I’m not sure. That, I figure, is their story to write.)

How close we are despite how far apart

Well that’s that. The votes are counted. Losers are mourning, winners celebrating their mandates, that word pundits love. The future is beginning.     There’s a finality to those black-and-white results that’s too simple for real life.     To see the fuller truth, read down any column of figures. Bite into any pie chart.     You see that we are of two minds, often divided by the thinnest of margins.

But storms’ worst tricks give us reason for hope

Sandy was forecast to bring the kind of days Noah knew, with wind, rain and water overwhelming land and livers. Coastal New Jersey and New York sampled a day of floods of biblical proportion. Thank God it wasn’t 40 days.     Chesapeake Country got off easy. Winemaker John Autrey of Huntingtown called Sandy “a wimpy storm.”     Scientific sampling is reaching the same conclusion.