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Your 2017 guide to finding fall fun

Beaches, marsh and mountains blaze with color

This week we bring you 50-plus ways to revel in the new season

Spoofing Bond with ups and downs 

In Makerspaces workshops, you can make most anything

A missive 20 years delayed sent me into my future

High school band tops in Maryland

“Welcome to the hallway nobody knows about,” a student tells me as we make our way toward Patuxent High School’s rehearsal rooms.     In the hallway, small groups sit in circles, talking and eating lunch. One student lounges against the wall, strumming guitar, while another practices violin in a small alcove.     This hidden hallway is where the students of the award-winning Patuxent High School band gather every day.     “...

On these, you did your part

A couple of recent stories have given us just the response we like to hear: You loved them.     Every Wednesday afternoon, we wash our hands of the next day’s paper, just as I’m doing today on the paper of May 18, 2017 — which happens to be one of which we’re all proud.     When our work is done, yours begins. For newspapering is a partnership among those who make it — writers, editors, photographers, designers, ad reps, advertisers...

Frank Chiarelli’s walk to the Pacific will take him more than 3,000 miles

Getting the feel of his first pair of shoes five days into a walk across America to raise money and awareness for at-risk youth, Frank Chiarelli passed through Annapolis on May 6.     “It feels like I’ve been doing this for months. That’s how my body feels,” he said of his walk to the Pacific Ocean begun May 1 in the Cape May/Lewes area.     “I have an app,” he says, “that calculates how many steps I’ll walk in each...

Death by herbicide is the first step toward no-till farming

This spring, Chesapeake Country meadows turned from green to the color of straw. It’s been a strange sight and one you’ll see more of in coming years. No, it’s not a symptom of climate change. It’s a step in no-till farming.     No-till farming offers many advantages over conventional farming.     Plowing, disking and cultivating destroy soil structure and organic matter and cause soil to compact and to lose moisture, thus requiring ever...

Clear skies forecast for this weekend’s Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival

Sarah Petska says every year that it’s her last. And every year her friends remind her that she said that the year before. Yet here she is again, prepping hard for the 16th Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival.     “I literally work up until the Monday after the festival, when the stages are finally gone. I guess I must really love it because I keep coming back.”     Petska was there from the beginning, when her father Don Hooker hosted the first...

Ridley Scott is more interested in philosophy than chills in this latest sequel

Leaving Earth in search of a habitable planet, The Covenant carries a crew of married couples plus 2,000 colonists and a few trays of embryos. While the crew and passengers hypersleep, android Walter (Michael Fassbender: Assassin’s Creed) cares for the ship.     A disaster ends the crew’s slumbers.     The crippled Covenant’s luck improves when the crew finds a habitable planet nearby. Shall they take a look?     The one voice of...

Joan raised me. Finding Mary took 55 years but filled me with happiness and a sense of resolution.

Among the many gifts I received as a young girl was one no one else had. The book was small, to fit a young girl’s grasp. Heavily coated white paper held an illustration of a girl being tucked in by her mother. Aloft, like a guardian angel, was a hazy drawing of a second woman, benignly observing the scene below. The title said it all: The Girl with Two Mothers.     I was just like that girl.     “When we married we were going to have four or five...

Jeanne Kelly’s Encore Chorale proves music can reverse aging

Silence falls. All eyes are focused on Jeanne Kelly. At her signal, the Encore Chorale bursts into song. Senior citizens one and all, the singers are primed, vibrant and ready for adventure.     “Is that your best?” Kelly asks. “Can you give me more excitement?” Of course they can, and they do; Jeanne Kelly brings out the best in every singer.     But is it true what she says? Can performance singing truly slow down the aging process?...

Building a safe place to launch lives

My youngest daughter, Alyson, recently graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in politics and government and a part-time job with a non-profit in D.C. — plus hopes and plans for changing the world. How had this happened, I wondered, how had time tracked me down and pushed me along, insisting that I move it, move it, ready or not?     As the mother of six, there were times I daydreamed about an empty nest. I was guilty of wishing time along, dreaming about...

Or, if it’s too late, about her (in which case you can skip the flowers and candy, or enjoy them yourself)

In due to Anna Jarvis, who lobbied for a day to thank our mothers and give women a share of the limelight trained on men, I can think of a couple of good things to say about Mother’s Day.     First, it’s broad enough to include us all, for while all of us are not mothers, we all do have mothers.     Second, all of us children expect our mothers to do for us — or wish they would. Indoctrinated in being the center of interest, we tend to give...