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Letter from the Editor

There’s something like Zen in the art of beer making

       “Home brewers may dream of quitting their day jobs to live off the fruits of their fermentation,” I write in this week’s feature story.       In Homebrew to Microbrew, you’ll read about those dreams and how they fit in the lives of four Chesapeake Country neighbors. I think you’ll find these brewers likeable, as I did, and I hope you make opportunity to find their brews drinkable. 

Is January 23 just another so what, like National ­Popcorn Day?

       It was no fun writing lessons in cursive, and no better in the hybrid connected printing I developed in obedient defiance to the nuns’ complaints of my handwriting’s illegibility. My mother couldn’t read anything I wrote, either, which may be why she insisted I take typing in high school summer school. On my own, I signed up at the same public school to learn Chancery script, a pretty Renaissance cursive. I’ve used both skills throughout my life.

It’s not always a straight path 

      Like a holiday box of chocolates (thanks Bill Vance, Betsy and Alex), this week’s paper brings you a variety of choices, all I hope to your taste. (And none, I hope, that sticky cough-medicine flavor that makes you say yuck!)

Not so good? We’ve got you covered there, too

      Very often, my newspaper gives me just what I want. Plenty of puzzles to work over the splendidly empty days after Christmas. Insight into the world around me, from my community to the cosmos. Advertisers to fix what’s broken and bring me unexpected benefits, like the Pashmina shawl from Green Phoenix that’s kept me warm since Christmas.

My Favorite Stories of 2017

Together, we read a lot of stories over the course of a year. Many of them give you a moment’s insight or delight. Others tell you just what you need to know. Some stay in your mind, even after all those words have come between you and them all that time ago. So I can still recount stories we ran four, 14 or 24 years ago.     Before I close the book on 2017 (yes, I really do have a large, heavy book labeled “2017 • Vol. XXV,” I like to reflect on what we’ve done in the 52 issues of our 25th volume.
Good stories to warm your holiday heart 
      Journalism is about good stories. For us writers and editors, the search for a good story has the urgency of a primal drive. The phrase a nose for news is high praise, alluding to the hound in a good reporter. Like bloodhound or beagle, we have it in our nature to sniff out what’s around. Catch a scent, and we can’t let it go. We need to know who’s doing what, when, where, how, why.

Empathy and imagination light the way 

     The perfect gift? Satisfying that standard is too heavy a burden to bear any time of the year, especially in this season dedicated to rekindling hope, faith and charity. The right gift will do just fine — if only I can find it. Actually, them — for it’s several people for whom I’m still seeking good matches.       Helping us all make good matches in these waning days of the season of gift seeking is our mission in this week’s paper.

Open horizons and swans to unite us

     If Bay Weekly were a three-ring circus, you’d find swans in every ring. For that, there’s good reason.      This week’s paper, our first in December, marks the arrival of meteorological winter. Here in Chesapeake Country, it’s not the serious winter already chilling our northern-tier neighbors. As I write, it’s –2 degrees in Crosby, North Dakota, right up on the Canadian border.
Bay Weekly wants to know
     Snow. You know it’s coming.       Sometime this winter — if not this month, the next or the next all the way up until March — we’ll hear the message that schools are closed due to inclement weather. Students rejoice. Parents sigh.        How do you spend your snow-day?
Turn on the lights. Bring in the tree. Rejoice in pageantry. 
     “There’s a big beautiful tree all lit up in the Smiths’ window.” That was the news my husband brought in with newspapers and coffee this morning. After seeing the neighbors’ tree in the late predawn, he was about to haul in ours, now soaking up water as the Bay Gardener directs in this week’s column.       “Don’t you think it’s a little early?” I asked. “It is still November.”