Editor's Note

Resolved . . .

I was never one for New Year's resolutions. Each December 31st when family and friends compiled their lists, I found refuge in the kitchen, chopping garlic or sauteeing shallots. But this year will be different. With a new president about to be sworn in, and a host of exciting initiatives under way at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, I'm changing my ways. Should old acquaintance be forgot in 2009, I'm blaming it on the following 10 resolutions. They're likely to keep me very busy.

1.  Visit at least five of the 29 National Trust Historic Sites. Writing about them is one thing. Exploring them is another. I can't wait.

2.   Answer flattering letters to the editor immediately.

3.   Answer stormy letters to the editor within 72 hours. (Note to self: Aim for 48.)

4.   Add one unexpected story to each issue of Preservation. I had a mentor who said that great magazines offer "gentle surprises." Look for surprises in 2009.

5.   Walk more, drive less, turn down the heat, turn off the lights, and strive for a smaller carbon footprint. If you read our "Making a Difference" column, you've met inspiring and accomplished individuals dedicated to preservation. They have inspired me to start making a difference in my corner of the world.

6.  Call my mother.

7.   Blog more. Colleagues at PreservationNation.org have completely revamped our website, and the constantly changing content is fascinating. I want to be part of the conversation between PreservationNation and our audience online. Please join me.

8.   Rebuild. The National Trust for Historic Preservation's efforts to rebuild New Orleans have opened my eyes. I'm heading south to help in 2009.

9.   Read more about Abraham Lincoln. Our story about the 16th president, and a recent visit to President Lincoln's Cottage here in Washington, proved how much I have to learn. Currently atop my nightstand? Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals. What a read.

10.   Look UP! My parents gave me an invaluable piece of advice when I headed abroad for the first time: Look up, they said. You'll discover treasures all around. All you have to do is resolve to set your sights a bit higher. 

For more photos, stories, and tips, subscribe to the print edition of Preservation magazine.