Here, where many voices gather, each weeks essay could bear the title of the first youll read in this walk down the lane of 2002 memories. For each commentary or reflection is an unexpected gift to Bay Weekly and all our readers, stirred in our friends and neighbors by the experience of living in this place, in this time.
Our community beach sits in the northern reaches of Anne Arundel County, not far from the chemical plants and oil tanks lining Curtis Bay and the industrial shipping of the Patapsco. Perhaps because of our location, all kinds of detritus wash up on our shores. I used to grit my teeth at this trash on our beach. Then one day, something inside me changed.
Now my daughter and I go to the beach for a new game: picking up trash. The effort is constantly renewing, for as long as I have the breath, will and strength to continue, the creek will offer me new gifts: Gifts of the patience that comes from repeated effort
April Falcon Doss No. 4, Jan. 24
A Number of Words
The American Dialect Society, a collection of English professors who obviously have too much time on their hands, is out with its Word of the Year for 2001: 9-1-1.
Pat Piper No. 5, Jan 31
Last Night of a Legend: Farewell Cole Field House
At the last basketball game at University of Marylands Cole Field House March 2, I kept thinking about my first basketball game at Cole. It was one I played in.
I was 12 years old, and my basketball team played a 10-minute scrimmage at half-time of a womens game. I can remember the feeling of how big it was, how bright the lights were and how important I felt to be playing in front of so many people.
Amy Mulligan No. 10, March 7
Our Legacy of Earth Days
The hippies had the right idea; we skeptics simply got too late a start. All the passion and lofty talk of Earth Day is meaningless unless everyone participates and we didnt. We neglected the recycling of good intentions.
The compost heap seems a frivolous measure in this new age. But I still tend it. It is therapeutic, a part of the maintenance of normalcy, part of a life-giving process that has existed since the beginning of time.
Audrey Y. Scharmen No 16. April 18
Garden Fountain for Sale
I would have had this article finished two weeks ago had my wife gotten a reflecting globe for our garden instead of a concrete fountain.
Allen Delaney No. 21. May 23
The Trouble with Mother Nature
Mother Nature is a bit out of sorts of late. Shes been running hot, then cold. A few days of peace and serenity, then wham! She blows up. What is her problem?
I think I have a clue. Looking at these histrionics in a purely geo-scientific and analytical way, I conclude that Mom Nature is starting to go through her M-phase (has meno in it).
Aloysia C. Hamalainen No. 25, June 20
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Three of my cats now wear collars with bells when they go outside. One has been pardoned. Turns out shes a terrible hunter.
Every evening when I come home from work, the cats gather at the door. I put on their collars and tell them, Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Nancy Hoffmann No. 28, July 11
Theodore Tugboats Gone
Theodore has been ordered back to his home port in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The company that created him, Cochrane Entertainment, is bankrupt. I miss him.
Am I the only mother who scoffs at Home Depots building books for kids that are prefaced with a plug for the chains tools and materials? Who notices that bookstores are indistinguishable from toy stores? Who doesnt need a Skittles math book to teach addition and subtraction? Who is frustrated that most of the childrens music I can find comes from movies and television?
Annette Najjar No. 40, Oct. 3
A Home for the Holidays
There is a pervasive, almost overwhelming, sadness about the SPCA. You breathe it in like air and it smells just like death. The people who staff the shelter many of them volunteers are close to angels. Because for every happy animal that leaves with a new owner, someone like me walks through the door with another sad story. And it never stops.
Steve Carr No. 51, Dec. 19