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Good Living

Whether you’re roughing it at a primitive camp site or pitching a tent in your own back yard, any time spent outdoors with family is the best.

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity. –John Muir

There’s no better way to know the Chesapeake

Bay beaches are tucked away in coves throughout Chesapeake Country. With tides and waves, soft sand, salty air and cooling breezes, they’re a nature lover’s paradise.     Our beaches are sown by the Bay with fascinating finds: shells, stones, driftwood, sea-glass frosted and smoothed by years of ocean tossing and tumbling. If your beach is within the range of Calvert Cliffs, Miocene fossils make for exciting and rare treasure finds.

Our match was made, not born

“Count these records,” said Charlie after introductions.     The year was 1969. The records were five-inch vinyl-printed cardboard squares recorded by our candidate in the Northern Virginia district where I lived with my parents. The square records would be dropped off at every house to deliver his campaign message.     Hundreds were loose in each big three-foot-square box. I started counting. I was fairly nimble at age 26, but the older lady next to me was faster.

Good news: You can upgrade your love template

People seem friendlier. Colors are brighter. Food tastes better. The world is transformed with shimmering newness.     What causes the rush of good feeling we call romantic love?

13 Films to Inspire 2013

Punxsutawney Phil has prognosticated an early spring, but it doesn’t feel like spring in Chesapeake Country. Like many a cold-hating human, Bay Weekly’s movie-loving groundhog Chesapeake Chuck remains hiding in his burrow.

The greatest risk would be to pass up the chance to do something that will make you happy

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. –Alan Alda

A second life for Christmas trees

After you take your Christmas tree down, recycle it for a second life.     In your own backyard, recycle your tree by placing it near a bird feeder. The tree’s branches shelter smaller birds. Throw unsalted, unbuttered popcorn into the branches as free-form birdfood. Branches also provide a good place to hang pinecones smeared with peanut butter and rolled in birdseed.

With the Polar Bear Plunge New Year’s Day and a portable ice skating rink set up for fun the first weekend of the New Year, North Beach become the winter capital of Chesapeake Country.

For multi-family kids, the holidays mean more of a good thing

Serene, peaceful, harmonious — three words that do not describe Christmas in the life of a child of divorced parents. It’s more like hectic, crazy, running like a headless chicken.     I remember the day my parents sat me down on the couch to tell me the news. “Ashley, sweetie, Mommy and Daddy are going to live in two separate houses …” My six-year-old translation: Yes! Now I will have two houses like Elaine, the childhood friend whose vacation house I envied.

The most beautiful tree of all, yours

Every tree has a story. Whether it’s the tree, the trimmings or the decorator, you can bet your family, friends and neighbors would be happy to tell you why they chose their own special tree.     Live or artificial?     Thirty-four percent of Maryland households buy a real Christmas tree each year, according to the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.     That’s my family tradition.