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December 2012

Lights on the Bay

See sparkling lights laced thru Sandy Point State Park as Lights on the Bay transforms the park into a gleaming winter world, featuring over 70 elaborate animated displays. Tune into Lights on the Bay holiday radio and cruise through two sparkling miles to see North Pole scenes, a twinkling Up North Village scene, a Winter Penguin Village, a colonial village inspired by historic Annapolis, a giant 16-foot red teddy bear, midshipmen and Chessie, the Bay monster. Benefits Anne Arundel Medical Center. 5-10pm rain or shine, including holidays at Sandy Point State Park, Rt.

A winter’s wind blows water from the Bay, revealing relics from the past

On a cold winter day, with a stiff northwest wind blowing the Chesapeake Bay south toward the Atlantic, 11-year-old twins Cole and Wyatt Greene stumbled on a strange sight as they explored the exposed mudflats of Herring Bay. Buried in the mud appeared to be the remains of an old ship. A really big ship.

Leon Tucker’s tour in Mongolia has him longing for Southern Maryland’s balmy winters

To step out into December’s minus-20-degree weather, Leon Tucker layers up “in bundles and bundles” with long underwear, thermal sweatshirts, camel wool socks and a North Face parka. This is not what he meant back home in Deale when he called himself “an outdoors person.”     Mongolia is not what Tucker’s mother, Kathy Norris, imagined for the son who always dreamed of travel. “I thought he was going to take off,” she says, “but not that far!”

The rediscovered Chesapeake woodcuts of Eastport’s Philip McMartin

When Philip McMartin arrived in 1963, Annapolis was still a watermen’s town with workboats coming and going.     The 33-year-old journalist-photographer-filmmaker-sailor had fallen under the spell of the water, which drew him to Eastport, where he and his wife and four children lived a stone’s throw from Back Creek.

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.

AACo connects families in need to people who want to help

What if you could see the child’s face light up when you drop off a new toy? Or watch the worry slip off the faces of a family when you deliver a Christmas dinner they weren’t sure they were going to have?     The Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services’ Holiday Sharing Program has been matching people who want to help families and seniors during the holidays for 32 years.

These tropical plants demand warmth and sun

A tropical plant that originated in Mexico, the poinsettia is very susceptible to chilling temperatures. If you purchase your plant on a cold day, wrap it completely before moving it from the store to your car. Place it in a sleeve stapled at the top to prevent rapid heat loss and to keep cold air from blowing onto the plant. As soon as you start the car, turn on the heat to a comfortable temperature.

Barking up the Christmas Tree

As a field of expertise, Christmas trees — like medicine — has generalists and specialists.     Generalists decorate their trees with the collections assembled over lifetimes by inheritance, early childhood artistry, gifts and outright purchase.     Specialists prefer a theme.

Don’t get fooled by the email scam

Don’t let the emails fool you. There is no deadline to register your cell phone number to the national Do-Not-Call registry.     Every few years, an email comes around saying, “A directory of cell phone numbers will soon be published for all consumers to have access to. This will open the doors for solicitors to call you on your cell phones …”

An asteroid spawns the Geminids

Thursday’s new moon provides dark cover for this year’s Geminid meteor shower, which peaks that night and into the wee hours Friday. The Geminids are perhaps the best of the annual meteor showers, but because of December’s chill, many people haven’t truly appreciated them.