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The view was breathtaking — until the sun set, leaving us alone with a guide we didn’t know

It was late afternoon when I caught up with Sharon in the hotel bar. She was the roommate assigned to me by the travel company that ran my 1974 trip to Spain and Portugal. A teacher from New Jersey, she was older than me by 15 years, and, I thought, more worldly wise.     She was chatting with a man whom she introduced as Robert, a ­fellow American. “He’s an archeologist,” she told me. “He’s working on an old castle that’s not yet open to the public. Want to ride out with us and take a look?”

It was a school night when I awoke from a deep sleep to my sister’s piercing cry

Mother was away for schooling and Daddy was in charge. He was doing pretty well until the night of the attack.     It was a school night when I awoke from a deep sleep to my older sister Heather’s piercing cry. Our rooms were adjacent and I heard everything: the banging, the fighting, the blood-curdling screams. My sister and I weren’t the best of friends, but I had never wanted anything bad to happen to her.     “Daddeee!” I heard her shriek.

22, alone and 4,500 miles from home

Imagine her: 22, attractive, alone, more than 4,500 miles from home. In a country whose native language is not hers. In a city of five million. On a Metro nearing midnight.

Tapping into the Ouija board like a phone line to ghosts

One month before college graduation with a blank future looming, I accepted a coworker’s invitation to a séance. She made it sound like such a good idea.     “A ghost saved my cousin’s life,” Barb insisted. “She warned him against a cross-country bike trip where his friend was hit by a semi-truck two days into the journey.”     She said that ghosts were omnipresent and omniscient. They were trapped souls looking for resolution to their own problems, tapping into the Ouija board like a phone line.

The loudness of their voices filled the darkness of the sleeping house — A memoir circa 1951

The house breathed noisily around the sleeping girl and dog.     This house was too new for ghosts to have gathered, but floors creaked and walls settled in stealthy metabolism. Blown by the whirring fan, summer-light white eyelet curtains sucked the screens. Outside in the big dark beyond the open windows, cicadas shrilled. When a breeze stirred, enclosing junipers ran their green fingers down the screens’ outer skin.

Bay Weekly’s Summer Reading Guide

A good book can take us farther than an airplane, keep us otherwise occupied longer than a week away from home and cost far less than any vacation. True, I’d rather be reading my book on a sandy beach with an ocean breeze. But even on my own back deck, lolling my cushy birthday chaise, a good book, a summer’s day and a cool drink make a vacation.     In that spirit, the Bay Weekly family of readers offers its annual summer reading special.

Camps are filling up fast. But there’s still room ...

Renewal is the irresistible urge of spring, reaching from the ground up into our homes and hearts.    
    It’s time to make some changes. But unless you bring home some new ideas, you’ll be recycling the same old stuff.    
    In the nick of time, here’s Bay Weekly’s 2015 Home and Garden Guide, bringing you 28 partners to inspire and assist your renewal.

All the Tools Your Inner Artist Needs Are you a DIY sort of person? Do you need supplies and inspiration for your creative projects?     Art Things, Inc. in West Annapolis is a place you should explore.

Greater Annapolis

Bay Weekly’s annual Dining Guide will make you hungry. Its very words melt in your mouth: Angus burgers, Bananas Foster, Barramundi Caprese, BossMan’s BBQ, bulgogi, Caramel and Coconut cake, Gambas al Ajillo, Hungarian mushroom soup, Littleneck clams and tasso ham, Munster Cheese and Crab Soup, New York-style pizza, Pad Pik Khing, Rockfish Amalfitana, Shipwreck Shrimp, Tikka Masala, Vallarta. From sharp to sweet to savory, it’s all here.