Hard to believe 2017 is finally winding down. I feel like at least 8 individual years were crammed into the last almost 12 months.

I’m ready to enjoy the simple and (mostly) predictable pleasures of the holiday season.

I’m thankful for a lot, and at the top of the list is getting to do work I love, in large part because of the relationships I’ve built as editor of the Coastal Journal.

What you can expect when you order a Coastal Journal “In Your Eyes” Calendar. Staff photo by Raye Leonard

This year (or is it years?), readers sent us their photos of the Midcoast and we’ve run them in a feature called “In Your Eyes,” first on page 5, and lately as a visual anchor on the calendar page.

So many amazing photos captured by ordinary people with extraordinary eyes for what makes our coastal corner of Maine so special.

I’ve enjoyed these images so much, and if the sheer volume of submissions is any indication, readers also really liked sharing them. I hope you’ve liked them, too.

It seemed a shame to run them only once, so I picked the ones I loved the best and made them into a small 2018 Coastal Journal In Your Eyes calendar. Featured photos include:

Cover: “Under the Bridge” (Sagadahoc Bridge, Bath), by Ellee Kenney, of Brunswick;

January: “Ice mirror” (Bowdoin Mill, Topsham), by Steve Trockman, of Brunswick;

February: “Dawn over the Kennebec,” by Paul Sargent, of Bath;

March: “Bird by the river,” by Mark Evans, of Freeport;

April: “Sunset near Popham,” by Jeff Benton, of Bath and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;

May: “Feeding frenzy” (Damariscotta Mills), by Paul Stevens, summer resident of Jefferson;

June: “Monhegan farewell,” by Julie Terray, of Brunswick;

July: “View from Lookout Point,” by Edward Roy, of Harpswell;

August: “One Stormy Mile” (Reid State Park), by Diann Longstreet, of Georgetown;

September: “Classic Maine by the Sea” (Ocean Point, East Boothbay), by Katie Byrne, of Bayville, New York;

October: “Goose River” (Friendship), by Jon Wiley, of Bath;

November: “After the storm,” by Robyn Holman, of Jefferson;

December: “Time to rake the roof,” by Sue Pinnette, of Brunswick.

Thank you so much to all these wonderful photographers. Seeing the Midcoast through your eyes made In Your Eyes a very special addition to the Coastal Journal this year.

Our calendar ain’t no oil company promotional, as Julie Terray was excited to point out when she picked up her copy at the office. It’s handmade (via VistaPrint) by yours truly and printed on heavy, glossy, 8.5-by-13-inch paper. I even labeled each one with the CJ brand and wrote a photo credit for Ellee Kenney because programs like VistaPrint only let you do so much.

By the way, I have nothing against oil company promotional calendars. I especially love the ones that include recipes, folk lore, and the cycles of the moon.
I had another idea. If we offered the In Your Eyes calendar for sale, who could benefit from the proceeds?

During my interview with Jamie Dorr, Midcoast Community Alliance’s founder, for the Nov. 23 story, “Planting Hope,” she mentioned that the organization will host a Set for Success event in August, providing backpacks full of school supplies to every Regional School Unit 1 student in grades K-8.

I liked the idea, and decided Set for Success would be the perfect program for the Coastal Journal’s first-ever fundraising effort. Since we’ve never done this before, I’ve opted to take orders in advance for the calendar. Anyone who has ever used VistaPrint will know that buying in quantity is often a better deal, and it’s always a good idea to wait for a great sale.

Are you looking for a uniquely Midcoast gift to give this holiday season? Do you love high-quality, well-produced photos that – at the end of 2018 – you could even cut out and frame (thanks for the suggestion, Julie)? Would you like to help MCA make Bath and surrounding areas suicide-free communities?

Buy the Coastal Journal’s 2018 In Your Eyes calendar for $20 each. If you’d like to flip through it before deciding, stop by the office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., at 97 Commercial St., on the second floor of BathPort, above Kelley’s Salon.

To order, send – or drop off – a check made out to the Coastal Journal by Dec. 13. Calendars can be picked up the week before Christmas at our office. Or we can mail them to you for an additional $2 per calendar to cover postage.

Please include your name, address, and phone number or email address, in case I need to follow up, and mail to:

In Your Eyes
Coastal Journal
97 Commercial St.
Bath, ME 04530