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Letter from the Editor

It’s also, as you’ll see at the Boat Shows, opportunity
       Earth, air, fire and water are what’s it’s all about, according to ancient cosmology. Those elements ruled all the way down the great chain of being, even to humans, who might thus have a fiery or a sanguine temperament.        Places fall into that elemental structure, too. Much of the Midwest, except where the great rivers run, is earth. So are the mountains. Phoenix is surely fire, and very windy places, air.
It still takes a village
      We count ourselves lucky to get old.       Then what?       This has long been the story of how life played out.       Mothers raised their children; then children supported their mothers. Fathers less, whether because of their bad habit of dying early or their good habit of independence.

Annapolis tries adding bicycles to its traffic flows and woes

      I was an outlier back when I commuted around St. Louis on my one-speed, thin-tired bicycle. This step up from my childhood Schwinn Starlet was a Francophile affectation. I’d been to Paris, and that was the look for me. So in my early 20s, I wore a belted blue trench coat and rode my bicycle to work and errands. 
Monarchs are not the only species that can’t stay still
      A couple of monarch caterpillars chewed their way to chrysalis as I watched, making do with the drying leaves of my little stand of milkweed.        Earlier, I’d seen their orange-and-black-winged parents visit the flowers I’d hoped would attract them: the milkweed plus purple Joe Pye weed, bright red butterfly weed, red, purple and white coneflowers, orange black-eyed Susans. 

Autumn is just right 

       If Rip Van Winkle jolted awake one afternoon to the long shirring sound of competing orchestras, he’d know where in time — if not in place — he found himself. For the dog-day cicadas begin their percussive polyphony only when it’s good and hot. From summer’s height, they’ll sing the season out, continuing until a frost ends their short lease on life. 

Who we are and what we do

      The work we do boggles the mind.

Reflections on young writers, children and grandchildren

      This week’s paper is full of stories written by kids who were babies not so very long ago. Not that the tenderness of their youth earned any slack for this summer’s three young women interns.

Is it domestication that brings us together, or mutual adaptation?

       “A dog,” Mark Twain wrote, “can’t be depended on to carry out a special providence.” His case in point was Prov’dence’s failure to depend on Uncle Lem’s dog — appointing Uncle Lem instead — to soften the three-story fall of an Irish hod carrier. The Irishman lived, but Uncle Lem’s back was broken in two places. “Why didn’t the Irishman fall on the dog?” Twain’s storyteller asked. “Becuz the dog would a seen him a coming and stood from under.

Life didn't get past Frank Gouin

Find the old, new and not-so-welcome on this week’s tour of Chesapeake Country

Back when I lived in Illinois corn country, we used to think that heaven resembled the Great Lake shores of Wisconsin. If we were very good, we might get there some day, preferably in this life rather than the next.