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November 2018

Here’s how Chesapeake neighbors describe their very best gifts
      The best gifts bring happiness to both giver and receiver. Memorable gifts forever hold a place in the heart, and recalling the moment the gift was given recreates the pleasure.       This year, reflective Chesapeake neighbors told us about gifts that have meant the most to them through the years. We’ve shared their stories in the hope that reading them reminds you of the best gifts you’ve given or received.

Many of the best come from your heart and hands

       Giving is my favorite part of the holidays. I love the process — the decision, the secret, the wrapping, the unwrapping and the smiles ... or tears. Last year I even sent my boyfriend on a scavenger hunt to search for his Christmas present. Gifting is a sport to me, but thoughtful giving is tough on a bartender’s salary of tips.

Give yourself a gift by savoring the Seasons Bounty as you shop

     If you’re one of those people who love to shop, you can stop reading now and go wrap some presents.           But if it takes eight crazed reindeer to drag you to the store during the holidays, this story is for you.
Quietly, they are extending their range to Maryland
      A thin dog-like silhouette against the rising desert moon. The apparition tilts its head back and utters a piercing wail. From all around come multiple plaintive responses. If this eerie scene fits your image of the coyote, think again.

High marks and praise for Chessies

      Watching football while digesting Thanksgiving Day feasts is one ritual. Another is tuning in to the National Dog Show. Many who prefer terriers and hounds to fellows in helmets and pads cheered when Ducky, a Chesapeake Bay retriever, captured the crown in the Sporting Dog Group — even though he was nosed out for Best in Show by a sleek Italian greyhound named Whiskey.

Without even lifting a shovel

      At Christmas time, when so many trees are cut, the right gift for people who have most everything — or whom you wish to honor or commemorate — might be a tree. A tree is a gift that lasts, offering beauty, shade and habitat-enhancing air and water quality and reducing energy costs every day of its potentially long lifetime. All the better if your gift tree demands not a bit of care.       Maryland Department of Natural Resources promises to make the Gift of Trees effortless.

Free parking Nov. 23-Jan. 1

     Visiting Annapolis is easier over the winter holidays, when reasons abound to go downtown. Through January 1, the city puts bags on the downtown parking meters. Thus you can park free for three hours while you enjoy, just for starters, Colonial Player’s Christmas Carol … Midnight Madness … the Statehouse by Candlelight … The Talent Machine’s Holiday Cheer … and Santa’s Speedo Run and Toy Drive. 

The winning wood stove designers are...

       Winners of last week’s Wood Stove Design Challenge are celebrating. The E-Stove, a living room-based combined heat and power unit, took top honors in both of two categories, automated and thermoelectric. Created by Wittus-Fire by Design out of New York and German-based HE Energy, the stove was recognized in the automation category for emissions levels, efficiency andsafety. Its ability to create electrical output up to 250 watts and more than 300 watts when using densified wood logs won it first place in the thermoelectric category.

Winter Salt Watch monitors where the sodium goes

     The first snow has come. That means snow days, hot cocoa and hunkering down. It also means road salt — and lots of it.       Before the storms, the State Highway Administration preps the roads with salt brine.      “As for how much salt we’ll use this year, we have no idea,” Charlie Gischlar said. “That’s up to Mother Nature.”

Art Things’ new owner promises to continue the tradition local artists have come to rely on

      Talk about customer satisfaction. Shopper Skye Vasquez liked Art Things so much she bought the store.       That’s good news for the artists, dabblers and dreamers who can keep up the half-century habit of browsing and buying at Annapolis’ hardware store for art.