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Letter from the Editor

Prepare to be scared

What’s the scardest you’ve ever been?         Our bio-clocks tick in bodies built of ancient stuff, with primal alarms still set. Autumn’s fading light sets off those alarms big time. Three hours had drained from our days between the 15 hours of the Summer Solstice, June 21, and the 12 hours of the Autumnal Equinox on September 23. Soon after Halloween, the night of the spirits, our daylight hours have shrunk to 10, with worse to come. By the Winter Solstice, December 21, we have light for a mere nine hours.

Follow the one to the other and you’ll be surprised at all you see

The coming of the U.S. boat shows to Annapolis each October turns our thoughts toward the water. For all that’s new — and some that’s old — in boats and everything yet imagined to support the boating lifestyle, you go to the shows. In Bay Weekly’s pages, we support that lifestyle with reflections on the meeting points of people, boats and water.

October is fickle; take your fun on the first fair day

For the sake of fair weather for the rest of October, I hope you’ll join me in prayer, rain dance, even in singing Sting’s Heavy Cloud No Rain — whatever your preference. It’s not for my sake I ask; I’m fine with wind, rain and fog. I’m asking for all the folks whose outdoors fun and festivities were rained on, rained out or blown away. Cancellation notices flooded October’s first weekend, dampening plans and spirits.

Bay Weekly’s Fall Fix-up Guide will get you started

October is Fix the Fundamentals Month, according to Free Will Astrologer Rob Brezsny. Boy is he right, and not just for the Capricorns among us.     For this Cancer, at the opposite pole of the zodiac, October is Fix My Fundamentals Month because with the waning of summer’s pleasures, I’ve seen the truth of all that’s been left undone.     Time to turn to home-front chores, so we can go cozy into winter hibernation.

What’s your move?

Sitting at my desk writing about fitness? Something’s wrong here; I can feel it in my posterior. Maybe my bones, too, but the first complainant is the part that meets the chair.     Let’s Move!     I’m ready, but first I’ve got to tell you about a couple of stories. Because I want you to take them to heart, I’ll start from my own.     Like Tom Caraker, hero of Selene San Felice’s story Connecting Lives, I’m a late convert to fitness.

So long, osprey, and thanks for all the lessons

On utility poles, street and sports field lights and channel markers, the nests are empty. Momma, poppa and babies — all but the stragglers have abandoned the Chesapeake.     Our birds are now flying south in migrations one, two, three or even four thousand miles long. Some travel no farther than Cuba; others go all the way to Argentina, though most nest along the curving northern rim of South America. That’s twice a year, spring and fall, along very much the same path once a bird establishes its route.

Job by job, we keep our world turning

Sunny, sandy and salty from vacation, I’m ready to go back to work.     I hope you, too, have had the kind of summer that returns you to your labor with love. I hope you had days and nights of fun, oceans of swimming, miles of hiking and biking, new horizons of sights and sounds — plus a good stretch of thoughtless time, vacationing your hard-working brain.     Labor Day plus one will bring me back to Bay Weekly glad — as the poet Dylan Thomas wrote — “to sing in my chains like the sea.”

In a word, sustainability

In Chesapeake Country, newspapers can say, with Mark Twain, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” Out and about, you can fill your arms with free paper-and-ink weeklies and special interest magazines, many of them stacked right next to Bay Weekly. What makes us different?     The answer is sustainability.     For me, that’s an easy word to define.     In part, it means that this week you’re reading the 35th edition of Bay Weekly’s 23rd volume, our paper No. 1,133.

Love them or hate them, school buses weave through the fabric of our experience

One way or another, school buses take us all back to school.     As well as ever-safer and more standardized transport, they’re vehicles of cultural passage. Via the school bus, the freedom of childhood passes to the regimented life of schedules and hurry, bells and detentions. Mother lets go your hand and the motorized door opens to the wide world.     Little wonder school buses also travel our cultural byways as icons of rebellion.

Husband Bill has his say on our shared dogs

I’ve given away most of my space in this week’s Letter.          “I’ve had my say on the dogs you and I have shared,” I said to my husband, Bay Weekly co-founder Bill Lambrecht. “Now it’s your turn.”     Bill took the assignment, but his storytelling reflects his day job: 30 years of reporting on D.C. capitol doings.     Read on and you’ll see why he titled his story Capitol Leaks.