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Finding the source of a local river

“What on earth does Magothy mean?” asked a guest as we walked down to the river by my Pasadena home. “It’s the name of the river,” I explained. “But what is it? Is it a person? Or a special word?” persisted my curious guest.

Boys & Girls Club artists hang their own art show

Michelangelo was 17 when he finished his first sculpture. Courtney Johnson, the youngest artist showing her work this month at BayWoods of Annapolis, is eight — and her photo is nationally recognized. Beat that artistic legend. “I paint to show people that everything has some kind of beauty in it,” said 18-year-old Colby Slade, the oldest artist in the BayWoods show and an art class regular at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. 

Pay it forward in 2011

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted –Aesop The truck driver approached the tollbooths on the Bay Bridge, laboring to maneuver his big five-axle rig into an open lane. Heavy traffic made it a tough job. An elderly couple approaching the toll lanes behind him saw his predicament and slowed, waving the trucker into their lane, directly in front of them.

Discovering the truth behind everyday curiosities

A Gaggle of Geese What do a flock of political geese, an American flag and an uprising of religious symbols have in common? They’re all visible from Aris T. Allen Boulevard and all products of Jerry Blackwell’s creative self-expression. The flag, cross, crescent moon and star are nothing new.

To get what we want in our lives, we must choose the right goals

The New Year’s commitment to self-improvement through resolutions is widely viewed with cynicism, in part because New Year’s resolutions go so notoriously unmet. After years of excitedly committing to a new goal — only to abandon the quest by March — it’s easy to conclude that New Year’s resolutions are an exercise in futility. 

Searching for holiday warmth led us to Florida — and back

It was an injury right before Christmas 1977 that sent us looking for warmer weather. My husband’s accident could have been more serious. He was flown to shock trauma in the chopper and was there for a few days’ observation as the docs worried about his head injury. But my chides about him being hard-headed were literally true, and he was soon out of danger. His shoulder, however, was another matter.

Five heartfelt stories on how good neighbors help us summit life’s mountain

Finding the right gift is the preoccupying issue of all us Christmas shoppers. We scratch our heads and fret because we’re searching for what to give people who already have most everything. When your needs are satisfied, you’re a nightmare to shop for. But if your needs are as basic as a good meal or a warm coat or a dry and secure place to sleep — those take a special kind of Santa.  Caught between needs of too much and needs of too little, we scratched our heads and sought expert advice. 

It’s not only what you give but how you wrap it

“It’s all about the presentation,” my mother told me. So she taught me how to wrap a gift. How to center a box on the paper, how to make sure the edges were even and no tape was visible. She used miles of ribbon. She taught me how to tie a proper bow. Those pre-made self-stick bows were, in her opinion, the epitome of laziness. It was meticulous work. On Christmas morning, it took seconds to destroy it all. Who was the genius — or maniac — behind gift wrap? Despite my childhood belief, it was not my mother.

Calvert Hospice grows a forest; behind every tree is a story

Small trees, tall trees — dozens of them, resplendent in holiday light and ornamentation — transform the halls of Huntingtown High School into a forested Christmas wonderland. These trees decked in holiday finery aren’t delivered to the high school in Santa’s sleigh. Instead, they are the work of hundreds of volunteers who labor for weeks, months — some all year — to create a Festival of Trees for the sake of Calvert Hospice.  

See them this season in Galesville, October 1 thru 3

With no gallery to call their own, the Muddy Creek Artists Guild makes its followers wonder where they are going to pop up next. Surprise “keeps the Guild’s shows fresh,” says Elizabeth Ramirez, chair of the upcoming October show. The Where’s-Waldo approach for the two-year-old Guild’s three annual shows creates “a sense of urgency” that “people have to take advantage of while it’s happening,” says Bea Poulin, photographer and Guild founder.