Join us in a free concert for Sanctuary

Dover Friends Meeting is presenting a free evening of song, scripture, and reflection on the essence and intention of Sanctuary as we seek to build and sustain unity in our leading to offer mercy and love to those in need.

The hour-and-a-half celebration takes place Saturday, March 13, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., and you are welcome to join with us via Zoom.

For years, our community of faith has enjoyed an annual Arts & Letters gathering around this time each winter, an event where we could enjoy the wide range of artistic abilities among us, both amateur and professional, by Friends of all ages. Visual arts and crafts, dramatic readings, original poetry and prose, dance, video productions, gymnastics, even self-defense, and of course music have all been abundant. And this year, as a consequence of Covid, the occasion is taking yet another turn, one with a theme and a venue that will allow folks from all around the world to meet with us in our little corner of seacoast New Hampshire. I already know of one song written especially for this occasion.

Welcome to Dover Friends …

Remember, it’s free, but registration is required. Click here!

Maybe it’s not really news but it counts

Heyduck

In my novel What’s Left, Cassia’s aunt Nita writes a daily newspaper column focusing on local people and their real interests. It’s not all that different from CeCe Cobb’s in my earlier novel Hometown News, but Nita’s is far less corny and far newsier.

In Dayton, where I grew up, it was Marj Heyduck of the Journal Herald. Her mug shot on her daily column featured a new hat each week as a signature touch. And in Cincinnati, it was TV host Sally Flowers.

But I can think of others who just seem to know everybody.

Does your community have a local voice? A minor celebrity or just a naturally curious friend of all?

Shooting hot and cold

Over the past year I’ve been playing with the auto settings on my camera. My aesthetic would normally be to go as natural as possible, but there are many times the result simply looks too flat for my taste, even after I sharpen the image or otherwise tweak it afterward. (In the early years of this blog, I didn’t even do that much. Rarely did I even crop the pic except in the camera as I was shooting.)

As I focused on New England foliage last fall, though, I was really struck by how much the supposedly natural settings differed from what I felt I was seeing. The vibrant colors seemed to turn cold by the time I viewed them on my laptop.

On the other hand, the “magic” setting often ran too hot, occasionally even turning lurid. Sometimes the image simply blew out in a burst of red.

Admittedly, often the foliage does appear subdued, but that’s not what we’re looking for. We want that “oh, wow,” to kick in. That brings up the matter of light, which can pop the leaves from so-so to absolutely glorious in a flash — not that the camera always captures that.

What I’m concluding is that cameras have a mind of their own, and sometimes you just have to respect that. Here are two shots from Dover’s Community Trail. Which do you prefer?

Hot …

… and cold.

 

 

Best hippie towns in Midwest

The vibe lives on. Here are some hot spots in the American heartland:

  1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. Bloomington, Indiana
  3. Decorah, Iowa
  4. Duluth, Minnesota
  5. Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  6. Lawrence, Kansas
  7. Lincoln, Nebraska
  8. Madison, Wisconsin
  9. Makanda, Illinois
  10. Yellow Springs, Ohio

(Disclaimer: I’m relying largely on Thrillist and have been to slightly fewer than half of these.)

~*~

Looking across the country, we’d add Athens. Georgia; Austin, Texas; Berkeley, natch; Port Townsend, Washington; Cambridge and Northampton, Massachusetts; and Burlington, up in Vermont. Again, half of these are by reputation, not direct experience.

What other towns should be noted, anywhere in the world?